France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets. In a significant climbdown, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said signatories to the planned deal would still be legally required to meet many of its terms but most likely not the carbon-cutting goals underpinning the agreement. Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images Security measures are seen during final preparations for the COP21, Paris Climate Conference site on November 26, 2015 in Le Bourget, France. “The accord needs to be legally binding. It’s not just literature,” Mr Fabius told the Financial Times. “But it will probably have a dual nature. Some of the clauses will be legally binding.” Mr Fabius, who is to chair the UN climate conference, added: “Another question is whether the Paris accord as a whole will be called a treaty. If that’s the case, then it poses a big problem for President Barack Obama because a treaty has to pass through Congress.” The comments are among the first by a senior official to signal a willingness to accommodate the world’s second largest carbon emitter to achieve a successful deal. John Kerry, US secretary of state, warned in an FT interview this month that the Paris climate change summit could not deliver a treaty that legally requires countries to cut their emissions.

Source: France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

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