Wednesday, December 9, 2015

21 pages of text reduced to 14

Today, the draft text has been updated and published. Christiana Figueres spoke to the Civil Society Observers earlier today, and she pointed out that in the "Committee of Paris" process, there has been an acceleration of negotiations.  Over the past three days, there have been parallel negotiations on various aspects of the text, and no one party has seen the entire text until it was released today at 3 PM. Allowing five hours for the Parties to read the text and prepare responses, over three hours have been devoted to listening to the Parties' responses since 8 PM. The President has reminded the Parties that while all countries have the right to reflect on the statement, the plan is to continue work tonight in order to have another text by tomorrow afternoon, which will be *close* to the text for adoption on Friday.

The COP President is hoping that articles 12-26 (with the exception of 15, 18 and 19) can be sent in advance to the linguistic and legal language team to review.  The remaining concerns include dissatisfaction with finance, adaptation, loss & damage, REDD+, and ambition. The majority of countries want to include the 1.5 degree goal, which is perhaps the best news of the week.  However, there are still significant challenges for the next two days.

I applaud Ms. Figueres, who responded to an Observer who wanted to include "food security" in the text.  She pointed out that the priority needs to be to have an agreement -- and pointed out that by its very existence, a global agreement would be our best bet for "food security, water security, health security, and well-being security." As the text goes forward, there will be a need for compromise and the text will lose specificity.  It won't be perfect, but to have an adopted text is essential for moving forward.
Word Cloud of Current Text (12/9) created with


  1. Christiana Figueres is the model of diplomacy and optimism. It sounds as if significant progress has been made.

  2. There has been incredible progress on the one hand -- 13 teams of negotiators (the Committee of Paris) working on various parts of the text with all of the Parties involved. There have been countless one-on-ones and small group discussions. However, the COP president was clearly frustrated that there is more work to do and 3 hours were taken up with the statements. He had asked for statements to be short and brief so they could start again at 9 PM. At 11 PM, there were still countries waiting for their turn to speak.