Newest Paris draft text raises eyebrows by leaving renewable energy out of long­term goal proposals

Newest Paris draft text raises eyebrows by leaving renewable energy out of long­term goal proposals

By our special correspondent Eric J. Lyman (@EricJLyman)

PARIS – The first draft negotiating text of the Paris climate summit emerged Thursday (December 3rd), including a set of streamlined options for the long­term goal – one of the main centerpieces of what is expected to be the Paris agreement – that at this point exclude strong targets for renewable energy use.

To be sure, other drafts will follow before the document is finalized and becomes the Paris agreement at the end of the Nov. 30­-Dec. 11 conference: at least one more is expected before negotiators hand the draft off to minister­level delegation heads for more negotiations next week, and ministers are likely to produce one or more intermediate drafts. The new version still contains around 1,700 sections of bracketed text, which indicates areas with multiple options to be resolved.

But the latest draft is still important, particularly when it comes to the long­term goal, which is where it differs most from previous drafts.

Environmental groups criticized it for not including stronger language encouraging de-carbonization. Instead, the five options in the new draft include language calling for peaking emissions as soon as possible, reductions after that, and an “equitable” carbon budget based on historical responsibilities. There is no remaining language referring to the de­carbonization of the world economy, as in earlier negotiating texts.

“None of the five options would be sufficient for us yet,” said Kaisa Kosonen, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace, though Kosonen did express hope that that language could be put back in before a deal is finalized.

Douglas Brown, a Brussels­based analyst and consultant working with the European Union at the Paris talks, agreed. “The long­term goal is important because it sets the path we want to be on,” he said. “There will invariably some watering down of language in the text in some areas, but if that it what is happening here it will be disappointing. It’s still just the first week.”

Read the draft

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