The Paris Committee met on Thursday, 10 December at 9 p.m. to receive the new version of the text, which was the result of a sleepless night and a day of intense negotiations. This new text (read the draft agreement) was slightly shorter than the previous version, reduced from 29 pages to 27, with some complex points still in brackets, including differentiation, finance and ambition (find out more about the unresolved issues).
“We are extremely close to the finish line, it’s time to reach a conclusion,” declared the President of COP21, Laurent Fabius. “The final stretch is still to come, and like in any marathon, the final stretch is often the hardest,” he added.
With this in mind, Laurent Fabius gave the delegates until 11.30 p.m. to examine the new text, before joining them in an “Indaba” format meeting, which was exclusively focused on reaching compromises. He made a point of asking them not to renegotiate compromises that had already been made. If there was a sticking point, one of the facilitators would gather any interested heads of delegation in a side room and would have to return to the meeting with a solution within 30-45 minutes. These compromises would then be presented in Indaba format.
Before closing the session, Laurent Fabius announced that all members of the expert group in charge of legal and linguistic verification had been appointed and that the group had been able to start working on Articles 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 23, 25 and 26 of the draft agreement in the early afternoon.
The “Indaba of solutions”, as he described it, was held around midnight. He initially thought it would be possible to present the final draft on Friday, 10 December, but ended up aiming for Saturday. This will allow time for a final phase of negotiations to reach an ambitious, universal agreement. “We are moving in the right direction,” he declared.