Nations pledge climate action, obstacles remain to summit – France

PARIS (Reuters) – Almost all governments have outlined plans for fighting global warming beyond 2020 in a positive sign for resolving a string of obstacles at a UN climate summit starting tomorrow, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said yesterday.

So far this year, 183 of 195 nations have issued long-term plans for tackling climate change, meant as building blocks for a Paris accord, with a flurry of more than a dozen in the past week including from South Sudan, Kuwait, Yemen and Cuba.

“This is radically new,” Fabius told a news conference of the almost universal involvement, including by countries such as Cuba which was among a handful that blocked a global deal at the last, failed, summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

Governments hope the summit will end in a deal that marks a turning point away from rising dependence on fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, shifting towards cleaner energies such as wind or solar power.

The national plans, including a Chinese commitment made in June to peak its rising carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, cover about 95 percent of world emissions, the United Nations said.

Before this year, plans for action have been dominated by developed nations in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

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