Crunch time for restraining global temperatures as Paris climate change negotiators debate three possible targets – 12th December 2015


France's President is predicting an agreement on cutting global temperatures.

Follow the Paris Climate Change debate on #ParisAgreement.

After two weeks of intense negotiations the Paris climate conference centre has finally gone quiet.

Behind closed doors negotiators are pouring over the detail of a final international agreement to tackle global warming. I’ve been involved in last minute campaigning with the leaders of Greens Parties from around the world includingc Canada’s Elizabeth May, Sweden’s Deputy PM Asa Romson, New Zealand’s James Shaw and the UK’s Carolyn Lucas.

The stakes are high.

And outside the main negotiations, civil society, environmental NGOs and Indigenous peoples have ramped up their demonstrations in a final, inspiring effort to strengthen the final agreement.

It’s all come down to the final few hours.

Australia’s performance has been underwhelming at best. We lacked leadership and ambition, and continued to protect Big Coal at the expense of the global climate, jobs and our future economic prosperity.

Over the last two weeks, the Turnbull government has abandoned an initiative led by conservative New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to end fossil fuel subsidies, we’ve supported the construction of new coal mines, and refused to rule out the scrapping of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Overall I remain cautiously optimistic. Reference to a future 1.5 degree target remains in the text, as does a minimum $100 billion from 2020 to help developing countries modernise their economies without massively ramping up their emissions.

In these final hours, please keep the pressure on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and reminder her that we #CantEatCoal, and we need to rapidly transition to clean energy to protect our future.

Fingers crossed.

Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale

France’s President is confident that an historic climate change agreement will be reached in Paris.

French President promises agreement

French President confident of agreement on constraining global temperature rises.

As I write climate-change negotiators in Paris are debating three targets for constraining rising global temperatures somewhere relatively safe above ‘above pre-industrial levels’.

  • Option 1: below 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Option 2: ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Option 3: below 1.5 Celsius.

Any Sydney Council with beaches vulnerable to rising ocean levels will obviously be hoping for an agreement on the last option. So will our nations’ island neighours.

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