As the climate negotiators got down to work in a final dash towards finding an agreement, the big question being discussed was whether the conference, for the first time in several years, would end on its scheduled time on Friday evening.
None of the contentious issues have been resolved as yet, and negotiators are preparing themselves for long nights over the next few days, even a sleepover at the conference centre. In fact, India has rented several sleeping bags and brought it to its small office in the conference centre to facilitate a few hours’ of sleep to the negotiators whenever they can at night. Some other countries have done the same.
The conference received a boost from a new report, in the Nature magazine, that global emission of greenhouse gases, for the first time, might have fallen this year, after having “nearly stalled” at 37 billion tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent last year.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who is presiding over the two-week conference, reminded the delegates again this morning that the conference needed to end on Friday. He and other organisers have been insisting on a timely ending of the conference, which in previous years has spilled over to Saturday, and even Sunday morning.
India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar probably gave a hint of how this could be done with a remark he made in a different context. “We have this conference every year. If all questions are resolved in Paris, then what will we discuss in the next meetings,” he said, while answering a question on whether the contentious issues on finance would be resolved over the next few days.
“We are very positive (that a satisfactory agreement will be achieved here in Paris). I am getting very positive vibes,” Javadekar added.
But he did not directly address a question regarding India’s stand on a proposal by the developed nations to ask some developing countries to also provide money for climate actions around the world. “Let them first fulfill their own commitments to put forward US$ 100 billion in 2020 and every year after that. We will then see what more needs to be done,” he said.