The first draft of the new climate change agreement expected to be adopted by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December was presented to governments, Monday, October 5, 2015.

Co-Chairs of the Ad hoc working group on the Durban platform (ADP), the body tasked with negotiating the agreement, managed to cut down the text from 87 pages to just about 20. But most of the proposals in the text are in parenthesis suggesting that a lot still needs to be negotiated in the next two months.

Negotiators from all 195 Parties are expected to meet in Bonn, Germany from October 19-23, 2015 to further tackle sticky and outstanding issues. Parties to the UNFCCC have set an ambitious target of reaching a universal and legally binding climate agreement which will keep down global temperature rise under 2 degree Celsius – a level scientists have acknowledged is needed to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change to livelihoods.

While this draft contains language regarding long-term reduction in greenhouse emissions, there are few details on deadlines. Also details regarding how this would be achieved are scanty. However, the document contains language related to long-term goals for reduction in global greenhouse gas emission.

Climate Finance

According to the current iteration of the accord, “the mobilization of climate finance [shall][should][other]be scaled up [from USD 100 billion per year] from 2020.” Now the question is does this meet the demands of developing country parties who have demanded new and additional resources to help them combat the effects of climate change is another question. Many industrialized countries have stepped up their climate finance commitments in recent months with ‘new pledges’. Obviously, parties will need to iron out details in the next two months.

Loss and Damage

Since COP19 in Warsaw, loss and damage has emerged as one of the stickiest issues in the negotiations. The current draft states that “parties acknowledge the importance of addressing loss and damage associated with climate change impacts and recognize the need for international cooperation and solidarity[,including through the institutional arrangements as defined in [this Agreement][decision 1/CP.21]].”


Green groups did not take long to weigh in on the current iteration of the agreement. Environmental advocacy group, Greenpeace said the first draft does not capture the momentum of climate change action outside the negotiations. Greenpeace went further t question the ambition of agreement arguing that it is not ambitious enough.

World Resource Institute’s Global Director for climate change, Jennifer Morgan had a different view. “This draft will serve as a helpful launching pad for reaching common ground,” he said.

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