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Paris climate talks, day 12: What we’re reading

A “high-ambition coalition” makes a final push, Fabius’s unusual responsibility, and a campaign to save ugly food.

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It may require working through the night on Friday, but negotiators seem to be close to hashing out a final deal. Nature closes its daily Paris digest with one last round of good reads on the climate talks.

Nature special: 2015 Paris climate talks

1. “High-ambition coalition” emerges

A coalition of more than 100 countries has emerged. Dubbed the “high-ambition coalition”, it consists of poor and rich nations that want emissions targets revised every five years and “firm recognition” of a 1.5 ºC warming target. It is being led by Europe and the Marshall Islands, but also includes the United States, Chile and Mexico. Some countries that are not in the group complained that the moniker was misappropriated. “Everybody wants to be ambitious,” a Chinese negotiator told ClimateWire.

2. Talks to conclude on word of French minister

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who is presiding over the Paris climate talks, will have to decide on his own when delegates have reached an agreement. By a quirk of precedent, United Nations climate talks are not concluded with a vote or show of hands, Reuters reports. After objections at the end of the 2009 talks in Copenhagen derailed a deal, the Mexican foreign minister declared a meeting that took place the following year a success despite objections from a Bolivian negotiator. It is unknown whether Fabius would deploy the same tactic.

3. Eat ugly

French entrepreneur Nicolas Chabanne thinks that ugly food deserves more love. He is the founder of a campaign that aims to keep farmers and retailers from throwing out their visually deficient produce. (It features a logo with a goofy-eyed, single-toothed apple.) Doing so could save one billion tonnes of carbon emissions per year and 210 million tonnes of perfectly edible food, Chabanne told The New York Times.

4. Going “full nerd” with an analogy to computer games

Climate writer Eric Holthaus thinks that the Paris talks are beginning to look like a computer game — namely, the Civilization series of strategy games. Holthaus points to decades of shifting alliances and now a new coalition of rich and poor that leaves out big players such as India and China. The situation resembles the deals that players — acting as nations — strike in the game. He even borrows a post-apocalyptic vision from one of the recent games in the series to explain what might happen should the talks fail.

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