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World leaders gather for high-level COP 21 meetings


12-08-2015 10:26 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Attends Paris Climate Talks, Visits Zimbabwe, S. Africa

Top negotiators from around the world are meeting for a second week at the UN climate conference in Paris. While there is progress, there are also disagreements.

Top government ministers from around the world are taking center stage in Paris. They are tasked with creating a climate deal from the draft negotiating text signed off by delegates here last week. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that time is running out.

"The clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe. The world is expecting more from you than half-measures and incremental approaches. It is calling for a transformative agreement, an agreement that opens the way for peace, stability and prosperity," Ban said.

But with many issues still be resolved, reaching a deal will not be easy. One of the biggest disputes is over how far the Paris pact should aim to limit global warming. Many poor and vulnerable nations want a more ambitious target than the current 2 Celsius goal.

"Any further temperature increase beyond 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) will spell, will spell the total demise of Tuvalu and other low-lying and island nations. We must have the greatest possible political will to set the right path here in Paris that will have and leave no one behind," said Enele Sopoaga, Tuvaluan Prime Minister.

Another sticking point centers on demands by developing nations for hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for a shift to renewable energy and cope with the impacts of climate change.

It is certainly going to be a week of tough talks with lots of compromises. But despite the challenges ahead there is still a sense of optimism here at the climate conference that a deal is within reach.

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