The draft Agreement released on Wednesday was welcomed by all parties as a good compromise, although it contained unresolved cross-cutting issues (finance, differentiation and ambition/review). Loss and damage, unchanged in the text, is also clearly still in contention.
After Parties had time to digest the text, they met and negotiated ‘indaba’ style (around a large square table, as well as breaking off into subgroups) throughout the night. Civil society did not have access to these meetings but word around the conference halls is that Parties clashed and refused to compromise over their bottom lines.
On Thursday, Parties continue to negotiate in bilateral meetings. At 9:30pm, the COP presidency released a further refined text – the penultimate draft – which shows a clear landing zone. Negotiations once again ran late into the night; President Laurent Fabius urged Parties to take part in an ‘indaba of solutions‘ and find compromises, adjust linkages and trade-offs rather than to restate their positions.
By Friday morning, it has become clear that the 6pm deadline for the final text will not be met. It has now been rescheduled for 9am on Saturday morning, where it will likely be released by the Presidency in a ‘take it or leave it’ manner.
Despite the intensity of these final hours, Parties have remained steadfast in their desire to reach agreement. A political grouping named the “high ambition coalition” has emerged, reiterating the desire to overcome the deadlock. It originally included the US, Europe and over 100 African, South American and island nations, and has since been joined by powerful Parties such as Brazil, Canada and Australia.