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India says concerns met as climate deal is struck

Negotiators on Sunday adopted a compromise draft for national pledges to cut global carbon emissions at marathon UN climate talks here that addressed all of India’s concerns and paved way for a new ambitious and binding deal to be signed in Paris next year to combat climate change.

“The document is approved,” announced president of the United Nations climate talks meeting Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who is also the Environment Minister of Peru, after hectic negotiations by officials from 194 countries for about two weeks in the Peruvian capital here.
“I think this is good, and I think this moves us forward,” Pulgar-Vidal said.

Commenting on the draft, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “all of India’s concerns have been addressed.” 

“We have achieved targets and we got what we wanted,” he said after the delegates approved a broad blueprint for talks leading up to a deal in 2015, to take effect in 2020.
He also remained positive about meetings over the next year and in Paris, saying “we can build on this [Lima text] and build consensus.” 

The adoption of the draft at the meeting which went into two extra days was seen as a significant first step towards reaching a global climate change deal in Paris ? although delegates feel much of the hard work remained ahead.
The deal — dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action — paves the way for what is envisioned as the historic agreement in environmental history.

The agreement was adopted hours after a previous draft was rejected by developing countries, which accused rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.
The final draft is said to have alleviated those concerns by saying countries have “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

There was a great sense of relief among delegates when the announcement came in the early hours of Sunday morning, as the 12-day meeting had already overrun by two days.

But environmental groups criticised the deal as a weak and ineffectual compromise, saying it weakens international climate rules.

The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut carbon emissions.

The draft mentioned only that all pledges would be reviewed a month ahead of December 2015 Paris summit to assess their combined effect on climate change.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres told reporters that the approved text is a sign of progression on closing the gaps between three key elements: science, policy response and action.

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