Climate pact: details of blueprint redraws battle lines

07 December 2015
Climate pact: details of blueprint redraws battle lines
Former US vice president Al Gore speaks at the "Action Day" meeting at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, 5 December 2015. Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Diplomats crafting the blueprint for a worldwide climate rescue deal issued a 48-page report on Saturday, concluding a bitter four-year haggle that often seemed to be on the brink of collapse.
While the Draft Paris Agreement has been welcomed as a crucial step in the right direction, it remains littered with clashing proposals from countries at odds on how to divvy up responsibility for curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gases, and forking out the cash. 
Environment ministers face a considerable task when they gather starting Monday to translate the template into a 195-nation plan to preserve the planet's hospitable climate and the future of humankind.
Some of the crunch issues are:
- Money, money, money: In 2009, rich countries pledged to mobilise US $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year in climate finance for developing nations from 2020. 
The money must ease the shift from cheap and abundant coal to renewable energy sources ("mitigation," in climate jargon), and shore up defences ("adaptation") against climate change impacts such as freak storms, drought and sea-level rise.
But does private money count? And loans? What about money from richer, fellow developing nations, multilateral agencies and development aid? Who qualifies for funding? How much of the money will go to mitigation, and how much to adaptation?
These are the questions still dividing developing nations and rich ones, many of which resist attempts to write any obligation or liability into the text.
More recently, the world's poorest nations are demanding additional money to cover climate change-induced losses.
- Blame game: The talks are taking place under the auspices of a 1992 climate treaty which enshrined the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”
It assumed that rich countries have polluted for longer, and bear a bigger responsibility for addressing the resulting problems –  a distinction developing nations wish to retain.
They also demand some leeway on coal use as millions of people rise out of poverty.
Wealthy countries argue much has changed in 20 years, and nations once tagged "developing" have become big polluters in their own right.
China is now the world's No. 1 greenhouse gas emitter, and India is number four after the United States and European Union.
- How hot is too hot?: In 2010, UN countries adopted a goal of limiting average global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
But small island states and many poor nations – which will be hit first and hardest by the impact of climate change – are pushing for a lower ceiling of 1.5 C.
The draft agreement lists both temperature targets as options under the caption "Purpose." It will now be up to ministers to make the political decision which one they retain, or perhaps both.
– Slashing emissions: The agreement's very "long-term goal" is still in dispute.