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Climate conference Minister turns up heat ahead of Paris climate talks

Environment Minister Doris Leuthard in Paris on Monday


With less than three months until a United Nations climate change conference in Paris, Swiss Environment Minister Doris Leuthard has demanded ministers have a working document at their disposal as soon as possible. 

“We really want a text right now,” Leuthard said at a press conference on Monday after a three-day preparatory meeting for the UN’s 21st climate conference. “The ministers need a working document in order to approve or reject ideas and to pursue some lines of work over others,” she said. 

“We’ve put a bit of pressure on the chief negotiators and on the French government.” 

Nevertheless, Leuthard said she was optimistic. “I still have the feeling that we’re close to an agreement.” 

Over the weekend, a group of 18 donor countries discussed general questions of climate finance, especially the methodology of climate finance before and after 2020. 

The meeting was chaired by Leuthard and the US’s Caroline Atkinson, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, who works directly with President Barack Obama on climate issues. Leuthard led the debate on climate finance after 2020. 

BRIC wall 

In a joint statement, the ministers reaffirmed their determination to mobilise, from 2020, $100 billion (CHF97.5 billion) from public and private sources a year in order to support emissions reduction and adaptation measures in developing countries. 

However, Leuthard said what the ministers ultimately wanted to know was what countries such as China, Brazil or India were going to do. 

“At the moment we don’t know,” she admitted. Leuthard now wants developing countries to declare their projects and submit them to the methodology adopted at the weekend. Donor countries will thus be able to check whether the projects correspond to the road map, she said. 

The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Paris from November 30 to December 11. and agencies

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