COP21 draft agreement moves forward toward a global deal

Mercy Sr. Aine O'Connor speaks at an anti-fracking rally outside the main venue of COP21 in France. (NCR photo / Brian Roewe)

French leaders here Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 9) released a new, slimmed-down version of a draft agreement to inch negotiations forward toward a global deal to address climate change.

The presentation of a "clean" 29-page draft text came on the 10th day of the U.N. climate change conference, or COP21. The text still harbors numerous bracketed phrases, indicating still up-for-debate issues. Talks were set to continue Wednesday evening with hopes of meeting the Friday evening deadline for a completed deal set by Laurent Fabius, France’s environmental minister and president of COP.

The latest draft presented three options for holding the rise in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels: a rise of either below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), “well below” 2 C, or below 1.5 C. The temperature goals would direct the required cuts in greenhouse emissions.

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