The biggest news of the day just happened (9.30pm CET) – a new draft text has been released, just as the day’s first plenary wrapped up after a brief 20 minutes.
It’s clear that a lot of work has been done, especially when compared to the text that was released yesterday, with a lot of the brackets gone. A lot…but not all.
Article 3 ter, pertaining to a mechanism to support sustainable development, remains in brackets, and at two options – prompting some to worry that this section may be too chunky to find a political agreement at this late stage. But we live in hope; too many Parties have stated their intent to access markets to deliver on their INDCs – or even go beyond what they can do – for this to just disappear.
Language on accounting has been agreed, however. While this seems dry and wonky, it is the crux of the deal (and any market), to ensure that there is accurate, transparent and consistent data – and no double counting of reductions (article 3, paragraph 12). The paragraph on cooperative approaches has become two – but remains bracketed (article 3, paragraphs 20 and 21).
The new text is the product of an intense night last night – with some reports saying things wound up at 6am CET on Thursday – and continued meetings throughout the day. Consultations were held on differentiation, finance and ambition during the indaba chaired by him, while simultaneous discussions were held on the preamble, loss and damage, forests and cooperative mechanisms.
During the brief plenary this evening, COP President Laurent Fabius said that a further informal meeting would begin at 11.30pm, to allow governments the time to digest and analyse the new text. He stressed that this would be an “indaba of solutions”, not posturing and the aim is to find landing zones for agreement. His proposed method of work received a round of applause – and no objections. (Thankfully no calls for line-by-line negotiations tonight then.)
Divides remain over differentiation, finance and ambition, he said, and the discussion will need to focus on resolving these issues. Fabius stressed that governments need to “show necessary responsibility – it’s time to come to an agreement.”
He added that all the members of the legal and linguistic team have been appointed, and began work this afternoon on the articles 12-26 (with a few bracketed exceptions).
In wrapping up, Fabius said he hopes he can present a proposal for a final text tomorrow. Which would truly be mind-blowing and a testament to the efforts of the COP 21 hosts to handle this beast and keep it under control. This feels less like where the wild things are and more akin to the taming of the shrew.