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US & France Openly Disagree on Binding Nature of Paris Climate Meet


US & France Openly Disagree on Binding Nature of Paris Climate Meet
Rebutting claims by the US secretary of state, John Kerry on Wednesday, the French foreign minister said on Thursday that any global climate change deal reached in Paris next month will be legally binding and have a concrete impact.
Kerry had questioned the status of any accord that might develop from the international environment meet in Paris and said that December’s agreement was “definitively not going to be a treaty”.
The Paris talks were not just “hot air” unlike previous negotiations and Kerry was perhaps “confused”, said the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius.
This was or the first time that such a clear divide between to rich nations – France and the US, had become so prominent on the issue of climate change and the environment. Analysts view this as a clear divide in the elite group of countries scheduled to take part in the meet.
While the US  was clear that there cannot be a deal in Paris if the agreement was “binding” for nations, Fabius hit back saying Paris will have to deliver a “binding treaty”.
The treaty or agreement that is hoped to be arrived at in Paris would be about cutting green house gas emissions by countries.
Kerry had contended, in an interview, that the agreement would will not have binding emission-cut targets like the Kyoto Protocol -- the existing climate protocol -- had even as it would contain measures to drive a “significant amount of investment” towards a low carbon economy.
On the whole, there is consensus among the EU nations that Paris should deliver a “universal international treaty” with binding targets for each country or else the Paris agreement will have no “meaning”.
Kerry’s statement was strongly opposed by French President Francois Hollande on Thursday who openly issued a warning that without a binding on countries, there will be no deal at the upcoming world climate summit in Paris
“If there was not a binding accord, there will not be an accord”, the President was quoted as saying by news agencies as in reaction to Kerry’s comments.
For the 196-nation Paris meeting, starting from December 30, the biggest sticking point is the nature of the proposed climate agreement that would be applicable from 2020 onwards.
According to the US, a voluntary target for emission control with a proper review and measurement mechanism was the real meaning of a universal agreement.
Like the French President, the EU also wants universal agreement with binding targets for every nation.
The industrialized countries -- responsible for carbon-induced climate change -- as enshrined in the United Nations climate convention, should be the ones that should be bound by targets, believes the developing nations like India and Brazil.  
They are also of the opinion that only voluntary targets as per differentiation implemented in the Kyoto Protocol should be taken by the developing nations. The protocol provided for emission cuts only for rich nations, also called Annex nations.
(Source: www.reuters.com & www.hindustantimes.com)