Representatives from almost 200 countries approved a draft text of a U.N. climate deal on Saturday after four years of deliberation. The draft text of the Paris Climate Agreement will be presented to the ministers on Monday.
"This text marks the will of all to reach an agreement. We are not at the end of the route. Major political issues are yet to be resolved," Laurence Tubiana, French climate envoy, told the meeting.
The senior government officials signed the document minutes before a midday deadline after working through the night.
The document includes a wide range of pending disagreements such as the creation of a legally binding limit for the maximum increase in temperature, financing by richer countries of infrastructure needed by poorer countries, as well as discussions around more ambitious targets for the future.
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The North-South divide continued to deter the negotiations with some developed countries wanting a less binding agreement and many developing countries demanding greater accountability from Western and developed countries.
Actor and activist Sean Penn, delivers a speech during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 5, 2015. | Photo: Reuters.
Meanwhile, several island nations along with many least-developed countries and African nations—more than 100 in all—are urging the international community to move beyond previous commitments of keeping temperatures below a 2-degree Celsius rise over preindustrial levels. Instead, they are demanding that the Paris deal aim to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.