October 27, 2015 / 4:16 PM / 4 years ago

France warns thorny issues unresolved as climate summit nears

PARIS (Reuters) - Delegates to a climate summit in December remain divided over fundamental issues including a framework for measuring carbon emissions, the envoy of the host nation said on Tuesday, though she believes a deal to cut global warming will be signed.

France's climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana attends the "France is committed to climate. Go COP21 !" event at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Representatives from almost 200 countries will meet in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, tasked with reaching an accord to keep temperatures below a ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

A similar summit six years ago in Copenhagen ended without agreement, and France’s envoy Laurence Tubiana said current negotiations pointed to a deal that would put the planet on a path to exceeding that threshold.

Several thorny issues had yet to be thrashed out, she told Reuters in an interview.

They included disagreements over what range of carbon emissions to measure, with oil producing nations arguing that the focus should not only be on fossil fuels but also on emissions from agriculture and other sectors, she said.

There were also still differences over how to measure and verify emissions, and over the issue of state contributions to fund greenhouse gas cuts in developing nations.

A dispute over how to finance poor nations facing the worst effects of climate change hampered negotiations and slowed progress during a week-long meeting in Bonn, Germany, last week.

“There were nevertheless some advances, although they are difficult to spot,” Tubiana said. “We added some amendments.”

Some 154 out of the 195 participating countries have submitted their national programmes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations, which is distilling them into a report to be published on Oct. 30.

That already counted as a success, Tubiana said, even if it was not enough to put the planet on the path of a warming limited to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

“We have a draft agreement ... which will drop to maybe 15 or 20 pages in Paris. It is quite manageable,” she said.

“You can never guarantee there won’t be a mishap, but there is real political will to make it happen ... I think there’s a good chance of having an agreement.”

Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Bate Felix; editing by John Stonestreet

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