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Paris climate talks, day 5: What we’re reading

Germany backs a 1.5 ºC warming limit, China calls out rich nations, and Arctic residents say that climate change threatens their way of life.

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Welcome to day five of the United Nations climate summit in Paris. Negotiators are making great progress in editing down their treaty — or are making little progress at all, depending on whom you trust. (Our reporter in Paris notes that the draft shrank from 54 pages on 30 November to 50 pages on 3 December.)

While we ponder the draft agreement’s current resemblance to Schrödinger’s cat, here’s a list of what Nature is reading on the Paris talks, from around the web.

Nature special: 2015 Paris climate talks

1. Germany joins a cooler club

Germany would back a warming target of 1.5 ºC, a leading German environmental official said on 3 December — days after French President François Hollande backed the same target. That goal is stricter than the UN’s official target of limiting warming to 2 ºC. Forty-three countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are also calling for a limit of 1.5 ºC, says Climate Home. But sticking to even 2 °C could be difficult, and would require major cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, as this Nature News Feature explains.

2. China points finger at the United States

The head of China’s climate delegation has called for developed countries such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom to take responsibility for warming. “The basic facts do not change,” said Su Wei. “The problem has been caused by developed countries.” The same sentiment has been expressed by representatives of many developing countries, who say that financing from the developed world will be key to inking a new climate agreement in Paris, The Guardian reports.

3. Arctic concerns hot up

Inuit leaders in Paris are lobbying for action to address climate change and preserve their way of life. “We’ve given our voices and our faces to the issue of climate change in relation to the Arctic,” says Natan Obed, the president of a Canadian Inuit group. The loss of sea-ice owing to rising global temperatures could affect the region’s residents and wildlife, a source told CBC News.

4. Glossaries abound for climate outsiders

Whether they are from an Annex I Party or an LDC, negotiators at the UNFCCC COP21 hope to limit GHG emissions and mitigate the effects of LULUCF. With 183 INDCs in hand, the ADP2 could produce a successor to the KP with the expert help of the SBI and the SBSTA. (For translation assistance, please see the climate-jargon-to-English dictionaries published by Slate, The New York Times and Climate Central.)

5. Bonus! What we're watching

Nature Video is on the scene in Paris interviewing heads of state, negotiators, environmentalists and others who have come to join the climate discussion. You can see all of the videos here, but here's one of the newest.

Andrew Steer: A climate change message

For heaven's sake, get a deal here,” says Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think-tank in Washington DC.

Journal name:
Nature
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18949

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