#COP21: Latest Draft Climate Change Agreement Online: Responses

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You can read the draft text here. Michael Jacobs, Senior Adviser for the New Climate Economy project, and former advisor to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “This is a strong and carefully balanced text, but the negotiations have not finished and there are still some important issues unresolved. There is a lot of work left to do.”

Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the World Resource Institute’s Climate Program: “While negotiations of the past usually get bogged down in the final stretch, the stakes here are too high. At this critical summit, the negotiations must be exceptional. The big question is which leaders are going to step forward to grasp this moment and make the agreement both fair and ambitious? Ten days ago leaders came to Paris calling for a strong climate agreement. Now those leaders need to start picking up the phone and work together to turn those words into action.”

Liz Gallagher Programme Leader, Climate Diplomacy E3G: “Significant progress has been made, but this is not the final outcome. It’s a text and it’s still in play, but it is a text to defend and strengthen.”

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC, a network of 120 institutional investors with over EUR13trn in assets under management said today: “We welcome the latest draft agreement, in particular the long term goal, the five year review cycle and possible progress on climate finance. Investors came to Paris to showcase their many actions on climate risk and to call for a robust accord that will increase both the pace and scale of investment in all aspects of a cleaner low carbon energy system.

“Through the INDC process many countries already recognise the opportunities available to them in the low carbon transition. Investors are hopeful many countries will use the five year updating process over time to bend the emissions curve well below a 2 degree pathway. As part of the immense and diverse coalition of non-state actors assembled in Paris, we encourage political leaders to secure the agreement we all know is essential.”

Sven Harmeling, CARE International’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator said: “As the climate talks near their final hours, compromises are being made on the strength of the deal. Over 100 climate vulnerable countries, supported by civil society, have lead a rallying call for limiting warming to 1.5 degrees to contain the worst impacts of climate change. This goal is now clearly reflected in the draft, complemented by a long-term emission reduction goal which, if implemented, can lead to the necessary phase-out of fossil fuel emissions by 2050.

“Some key issues remain open. There are still several different options for addressing loss and damage, a key concern to vulnerable developing countries, some of which would be very weak. There is even the risk of losing it from the Paris Agreement, which would be a disastrous outcome for the world’s poorest countries.”

Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business: “Business thanks the French Presidency for its continued leadership of COP21. We ask you to stay strong in finalizing an ambitious climate agreement, which will send a catalytic signal to the real economy. We urge you to fulfill your promise to “leave nothing behind” – including the long-term goal and the five-year ambition mechanism, starting from 2020 onwards.”

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC, a network of 120 institutional investors with over EUR13tn in assets under management: “Investors came to Paris to showcase their many actions to address climate risk and to call for a robust agreement that will make it easier to increase the pace and scale of their investment in all aspects of a cleaner low carbon energy system. As part of the immense and diverse coalition of non-state actors assembled here, we encourage our political leaders to secure the agreement we all know is essential. Regardless of what form the final Paris agreement takes, the momentum now driving climate action amongst investors is irreversible.”

Dr. Bettina Menne, Climate Lead, WHO Europe: “As doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, it is our duty to safeguard the health of our families and communities. This new Presidents’ text takes us one step closer to a Paris Agreement which could secure this future, protecting the public from the impacts of climate change – the defining health issue of this century. A strong agreement in Paris must bolster community resilience, strengthen our health systems, and help tackle inequalities.”

Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Climate Change Lead, World Health Organization: “Every tonne of carbon that we put into the atmosphere turns up the planet’s thermostat, and increases risks to health. The actions that we need to take to reduce climate change would also help clean up our air and our water, and save lives. To take a medical analogy: We already have good treatments available for climate change, but we are late in starting the course. We hope that in Paris we can agree on the prescription as soon as possible.”

Professor Hugh Montgomery, Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: “The new text is an important step in reaching an agreement in Paris. As we enter the last stretch of the negotiations, governments must be ambitious and courageous, taking action to secure our health and future, and that of our families and children. We can no longer defer. To leave Paris without a strong agreement puts us all at risk.”

Pascal Canfin, special advisor for climate, WRI: “That’s a great leap forward that needs to be confirmed in tomorrow’s final agreement. We must remain vigilant to ensure commitments are reviewed as early as possible so we don’t get locked into a 3°C pathway”

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advisor, said: “This penultimate text shows we are on the verge of our first truly global climate deal. This draft represents good progress and we are within touching distance of the summit.

“In these last few hours we need countries to hold their nerve and insist that the final agreement includes provisions to increase climate ambition over time. These final negotiations will be a physical endurance but the short term suffering of delegates will hopefully result in less long term suffering for the world’s most vulnerable people. There are three things that we need to see in the final version. Loss and damage to help the vulnerable, finance to help the poor, and provisions to increase climate ambition to keep global temperatures in check.

“It’s great that we have widespread agreement on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, but it’s useless without a way of getting there. Without an ambition mechanism we only have enough fuel to drive ourselves half way to our destination. For a review and resubmission process to be worth anything we need the review part to happen sooner rather than later. That’s why we must have a big political moment in 2018 where countries will be brought back to the table and forced to ramp up their climate action.”