By The Associated Press
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said parties must now “rise to the occasion” in a news conference Saturday morning.
“The issue now rests with the will of the parties,” Shoukry said at a press conference. “It is the parties who must rise to the occasion and take upon themselves the responsibility of finding the areas of convergence and moving forward.”
On a new draft text for the overarching decision at the conference, which was being worked on overnight, Shoukry said that “a vast majority of the parties indicated to me that they considered the text as balanced and that they constitute a potential breakthrough that can lead to consensus.”
He added that “all must show the necessary flexibility” in reaching a consensus, and that Egypt was merely “facilitating this process.”
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New Zealand’s climate minister has said a draft of the final document circulated by the presidency “has been received quite poorly by pretty much everybody,” adding that delegations are going into another round of talks.
Speaking to The Associated Press, James Shaw called the draft “entirely unsatisfactory.”
He added that the proposal “abandons really any hope of achieving 1.5 (degrees Celsius, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit),” referring to the warming limit agreed at the Paris agreement back in 2015.
He said parties will continue to work on the issue as well as look to reach consensus on a loss and damage fund for developing nations who are suffering from the impacts of climate change.
“Everybody wants an outcome on loss and damage and everybody wants to keep 1.5 alive. So that’s what we’re going to keep doing,” he said.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says that responsibility for the fat of the U.N. climate talks “now lies in the hands of the Egyptian COP presidency.”
She said the European Union had made clear overnight that “we will not sign a paper here that diverges significantly from the 1.5 C path, that would bury the goal of 1.5 degrees.”
“If these climate conferences set us back then we wouldn’t have needed to travel here in the first place,” she said.
Egyptian Foreign Minister
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