COP21 Blog at mid-point

I am amazed. The deadline of having ADP wrap by noon Saturday and send a draft text accepted as a sufficient basis for political negotiation was met. The draft text with the addition of “reflections” from the co-chairs (a neat process to take on board and submit the complaints, additions and pleadings that failed to make it to the text) was passed by the ADP in plenary session in the early afternoon.

By 6 PM, the COP re-convened for the formality of conveying the new text to the COP, the President of COP21, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

If you think you have heard of him before, you have. He was once Prime Minister of France (1984-86). Now he is the President of the COP. Socialist, political force, and passionate proponent for an effective treaty, Fabius is facing a week of high stakes negotiations. He will undertake a never-ending revolving door of meetings with the negotiating groups – the G-77 and China (all developing countries, including big polluting ones like China and India, plus bizarrely Saudi Arabia); the EU, the “Umbrella Group” of USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and a few more, the low-lying island states, the Environmental Integrity Group – Mexico, Korea, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and a few others – the best and most progressive for my money; the like-mined Developing Countries, the Africa Group, the Least-developed Countries and so on.

To come to a deal now, Fabius will meet non-stop behind closed doors, trying to bridge the differences. A “president’s text” is likely to emerge early in the week, and then another.
It will not be easy. Almost literally, this one man has the world on his shoulders.