BONN, Germany, Oct 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -
G overnments have begun negotiating on an updated draft of a
global climate change deal that was released on Tuesday morning
at the latest round of U.N. talks in Bonn, amid relief new
additions had not seen the text balloon.
Developing countries voiced anger at the beginning of the
talks on Monday that a slimmed-down 20-page version of the text,
created by the chairs of the negotiations, had not included key
proposals on issues like helping people deal with the impacts of
climate change and financing their protection.
In response, all countries were permitted to insert
The resulting new text, issued overnight, is 34 pages long,
and was described by climate experts as "manageable".
"Fears (it) would expand out of control were laid to rest,"
said Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa's delegate, who
speaks on behalf of a key group of more than 130 developing
nations and China.
Daniel Reifsnyder, co-chair of the talks, said the new text
was now the "starting point of the negotiation" aimed at
producing a binding agreement to curb global warming.
That deal is due to be finalised by more than 190 nations at
a U.N. conference in Paris starting on Nov. 30.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told negotiators in
Bonn there was a need for confidence, transparency and a sense
of urgency at the talks this week to ensure success in Paris.
"I am sure that a series of improvements will be brought to
ensure the text is balanced and ambitious," and can be used as a
starting point for the Paris summit, he added.
He said he hoped the Bonn discussions would settle some
important issues and identify some key political questions
Peter Betts, lead negotiator for the European Union, said
the new draft text was a "useful tool" but there was still a
long way to go before all countries agreed which essential
elements should be part of the deal.
Seven smaller groups are now setting to work in Bonn on
discussing different sections of the draft agreement covering
emissions reductions, climate finance, and adapting to extreme
weather and rising seas, among other issues.
Some countries said they would use those sessions to try to
reintroduce certain proposals, as they were unhappy not all
their suggestions yesterday had been included.
OBSERVERS LOCKED OUT
Civil society groups were furious that they will not be
allowed to attend the sub-group meetings - a stance backed by
Japan and the co-chairs, and opposed by Malaysia and others.
But in general, the mood in Bonn was that the new text now
reflected a broader range of views from both developed and
Mohamed Adow, senior climate change advisor with development
charity Christian Aid, said a delicate balance had been struck
in crafting a fair premise for negotiations, opening the way to
defining clear options for ministers to grapple with in Paris.
He welcomed the reintroduction of a developing-world
proposal on dealing with the losses and damage caused by
unavoidable climate impacts; another linking adaptation needs
with the level of temperature rises; and a long-term goal to
decarbonise the global economy over the course of this century.
"Given the drama yesterday ... I am pleased to say we're far
ahead into the process in terms of actually having a solid draft
text that will be the basis for negotiation," Adow said. "We can
now get on with the job at hand."
Talks co-chair Reifsnyder said a further revised version of
the draft deal would be produced at the end of Friday, when the
Bonn talks close.
(Reporting by Megan Rowling; editing by Laurie Goering. Please
credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of
Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights,
trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)