Last day of COP21.

Today is the last day of COP21 in Paris, and the atmosphere at the Bourget is thick with anticipation. The draft published two days ago confirmed the trends of the previous days, maintaining a mood that most described as “cautious optimism.” A significant example of this is that said draft included in its description only three options regarding the objective of the agreement: a maximum increase of 2ºC, a lower one as far as possible, and a maximum increase of 1.5ºC. The island states remain firm in their demand for 1.5º, since an increase of 2ºC would be devastating for them.

What other facts can be pointed out for now? The following should be noted:

  • 185 countries have already submitted their national climate change plans (the famous “INDCs”, or Nationally Determined Contributions)
  • China and the United States already have a bilateral agreement that demonstrates their determination to act.
  • A group of countries that includes France and the US have agreed to double their R&D budget, an initiative supported by important international businessmen (as we have already mentioned). India leads a global alliance for solar energy.
  • The private sector has spoken out in favor of climate action.
  • 400 cities and regions have committed through the “Compact of majors” to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.

However, the delay in negotiations implies a risk that an agreement will not be reached tonight. The course of the day will allow us to know the result, but it is highly probable that the negotiations continue throughout the whole of Saturday. As always, “negotiations will end when they are done.”

On the other hand, the US has joined the EU and its 79 allied countries in giving the last push to negotiations and ensure that an “ambitious, sustainable and legally binding” agreement is reached. This brings us even closer to a firm resolution. Meanwhile, emerging powers are playing a leading role< /a>with their demands regarding financing and “climate justice”. One thing is clear on this last point: the West is going to pay a lot.

It has managed to unite the technological moment, science and political will. Now only the final document is missing.

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