Before Ministers Arrive, Clearer Differences and Potential Compromises

4 December 2015

Paris, France – Friday, December 4, 2015: This morning, the co-chairs released two negotiating texts: a new draft of the negotiating text as it now stands and a version that includes compromise options from the co-facilitators of the issue discussion groups. There are some sharply drawn differences between parties on some issues, but negotiators continued to work to get as much streamlining done as possible before the text is handed off to ministers at the official beginning of COP21 tomorrow. 
The co-facilitators' version of the text includes potential compromises, known as bridging proposals, on critical issues like loss and damage and adaptation. These proposals could provide a way forward for developing and developed countries to reach some common ground. This streamlined document could give ministers an effective technical tool for working through the complex political negotiations. 

On the ground in Paris, CAN members made the following comments: 

"There was positive movement on loss and damage—a redline issue for the vulnerable countries—which now has a bridging proposal set out that builds on a lot of the work done on the Warsaw mechanism. With the bridging proposals, the co-facilitators are bringing us beyond the point of just saying that ‘no text’ is an option. Some of the things in the loss and damage proposal are picking up the concerns of vulnerable countries, although it is still up for debate whether that is likely to remain in the final text. On many issues, there are still difficult political trades to be made in order to ensure that this deal doesn’t just end up as the lowest common denominator.

“The review on temperature target, which resulted in strong arguments for a 1.5 degree limit as a safer way to protect all communities,  ended up getting blocked from being sent to ministers, primarily by the Arab Group with Saudi Arabia leading. This is bad news, but the good news is that the ministers have a formal agenda that gives them the option to address this issue without the blocked report. So they still have option to affirm and adopt the 1.5 degree goal."

-Sven Harmeling, CARE International
“We're seeing negotiators take more openly political positions: that's provoking sharper confrontations, but it's also giving an understanding of where potential trade-offs might be. Last night, the EU recognized that the $100 billion in pre-2020 finance is a floor, and the they also, alongside the US and Japan, agreed that they will consider a collective contribution target for post-2020, if the donor pool increases. The US has made it clear that new contributors will not have the same level of responsibility—outlining a difference between the obligations of rich countries and the donations of those able to do so.

"Parties need to start compromising now—not at the 24th hour when everyone’s sleep-deprived and the clock has run down. There have been some confidence-building measures and there are definitely some potential landing zones for compromise, but there has not yet been enough movement for developing countries to be assured that they will get the financial support that they need for to adapt to climate change and reach strong long-term goals and reviews.” 

-Kelly Dent, Oxfam
Webcast: The press conference was webcast live and is available on demand here:

CAN will be holding a press briefing tomorrow, Saturday December 5, at 11:00 CEST. For a one-to-one interview with our spokespeople, please contact Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email:

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: 

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