Turnbull to join global leaders in first days of Paris climate conference

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Leaders from US, China, India, Brazil, the EU, Canada and Australia confirmed for talks to remove roadblocks in first day of Paris climate negotiations.

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Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is one of 80 world leaders who have already accepted an invitation to attend the Paris climate summit that will seek a global climate pact in Paris in December.

Lights on the Eiffel Tower read, "Paris Climat 2015" to mark the selection of the French capital to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015, in Paris, November 22, 2013. The UN Climate Change Conference, held annually within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Change, will run from November 30 to December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (FRANCE - Tags: TRAVEL ENVIRONMENT POLITICS) - RTX15OZ8

Turnbull, along with the leaders of the US, China, India and Brazil, as well as the UK, Germany, South Africa and Canada, will attend the first days of the summit, beginning November 30, in an attempt to forge a political agreement on the pact, which will seek to limit global warming to a maximum 2°C.

Environmentalists – and indeed many in business circles – want the Paris agreement to send a clear signal for a major push into renewable energy and other initiatives that will lead to a rapid de-carbonasiation of the global economy, and a major shift from fossil fuel investment.

The move to have global leaders attend the start of the conference is in contrast to the Copenhagen talks, which broke down in chaos in the last few days after more than 100 global leaders flew in at the last moment in an attempt to break through a negotiating fog.

This time the situation will be reversed. The French government has long planned that if leaders were to come to the Paris talks, they would need to be there at the start, set in train a political agreement, and set the tone for bureaucrats to nut out the finer details over the ensuring two weeks.

French President François Hollande

“Together with president François Hollande, we decided to invite heads of state to attend the first day and not the end as in Copenhagen,” foreign minister Laurent Fabius told journalists in Paris this week.

In Copenhagen, Fabius said, “the negotiators were waiting for heads of state to negotiate, and the heads of state failed to resolve anything.”

This time, “the idea is to provide a political impetus at the beginning” of the conference – which will see the leaders take turns to make statements.

Negotiators have agreed, roughly, what the text should look like, but it remains an unwieldy document at some 55 pages and there are still major sticking points: one about the level of ambition, and one about the availability of finance.

Various analyses – expected to be confirmed by a UN report to be released later Friday – have shown that the individual commitments from more than 150 countries (known as INDCs) will lower the likely growth in average global temperatures above pre-industrial times to around 2.7°C.

While this is a vast improvement on previous trajectories, analysis shows that nations will need to double their efforts again to meet that target.

There is an increasing push, particularly from vulnerable nations in Africa, Asia and islands to push for a limit of 1.5°C, and for an effective moratorium on new coal mines.

Developing countries still want the developed nations to take more of a lead on reducing emissions, but the focus is now also turning to major developing countries such as China, India and Indonesia which, along with the US, make up the top four emitters in the world.

The issue of finance is also a major hurdle, with vulnerable nations seeking finance to help decarbonise their economies and help them deal with the impacts of climate change, including storms, drought, flooding and rising sea levels.
The next step is a meeting of ministers from some 100 nations in Paris from November 8-10, which environment minister Greg Hunt is expected to attend. Hunt and foreign minister Julie Bishop will also likely attend the full Paris negotiations, which will run from November 30 to December 12, with more than 40,000 people in attendance.
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  1. Bighead1883 4 years ago

    Yes he can join the madman he toppled

  2. Pedro 4 years ago

    Very interested to see how Turnball performs at the conference. Will have a better idea then if he is serious about doing something about climate change or digging up more coal.

    • Miles Harding 4 years ago

      He shoud be good at catching shoes by the end of it 🙂

  3. Geoff 4 years ago

    don’t let Abbott anywhere near Paris during the next 6 weeks as he will most likely join the fossil fuel syndicates that are planning to disrupt the Paris talks. A$$ holes…

  4. john 4 years ago

    My thoughts at least he has the guts to go.
    It is a very hard place for the leader of the LNP Government to attend as it will cause him heaps of trouble within his side of the party.
    As to the type of presentation that he gives to the meeting most will know its all smoke and deceitful the present Direct Action Policy.
    If he goes away from that however his party will dump him with out a doubt.
    So he is between a knowledge and a dumb place.
    Good luck Malcolm however I do not think it will end well.

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