France presented negotiators from nearly 200 nations with what it called a “final draft” of an unprecedented climate deal to slow global warming and urged them to approve it on Saturday. The deal would slow rising temperatures and sea levels, and eventually hold man-made emissions to the levels that nature can absorb.
If the pact known as “the Paris agreement” is approved, countries would be committed to keeping the rise in global temperatures by the year 2100 compared with pre-industrial times “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and “endeavor to limit” them even more, to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That was a key demand of poor countries ravaged by the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.
They would also be committed to limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
Negotiators had a few hours to analyze the draft before going into a plenary meeting for possible adoption. French President Francois Hollande, who joined the meeting Saturday to add weight to the negotiations, urged them to approve it.
“The decisive agreement for the planet is here and now,” Hollande said. “France calls upon you to adopt the first universal agreement on climate.”
The deal, meant to take effect in 2020, would be the first to ask all countries to join the fight against global warming, representing a sea change in the U.N. talks, which previously required only wealthy nations to reduce their emissions.