When it comes to conferences that concern a truly global scale, wording really matters. Although most (if not all) of the countries agree that climate change is to be avoided, in principle, it’s super difficult to get them to agree on specific details. France, the host of COP21, has been attempting to push through a draft deal by the end of this weekend- with time pressure knocking on their door. However, the wording of the draft agreement is still up for discussion.
Negotiators need to agree about about review periods- many believe that 5-yearly checks are a workable idea. Some, on the other hand, disagree- saying that their goals are placed too far in the future for checks every five years to be useful.
Furthermore, there’s the wording about finance. While some countries (like the UK) have pledged to ramp up their financial commitments in order to help poorer nations deal with climate-related funding. On that note, there’s also the issue of loss and damage, with many poorer nations believing they are entitled to compensation for climate change disasters because they have not been the main polluters- while richer and more developed countries seem to avoid signing up for a commitment based on the principle that they are at fault.
France is very aware of what’s at stake- and nobody wants another Copenhagen. The current draft is filled with square brackets, indicating passages that have not yet been agreed upon. Getting those brackets removed is currently a priority, and a compromise in acceptable wording needs to be found.