Cathching & Changing the Word “Should” to “Shall” @ COP21

GOP Climate Change Denier cartoon

The one word that almost sank the climate talks

U.S. tactics during the negotiations included making a last-minute tweak to the text and amassing a huge coalition to help pressure China and India.

12/12/15 07:51 PM EST By Andrew Restuccia – politico

LE BOURGET, France — After years of preparation and two weeks of tireless negotiations, after all the speeches and backroom compromising, one misplaced word brought the momentum toward a historic global deal on climate change to a halt Saturday — for at least a few hours.

Obama administration lawyers discovered early in the day that the latest draft text had a potentially deal-killing tweak: Deep into the document, in Article 4, was a line declaring that wealthier countries “shall” set economy-wide targets for cutting their greenhouse gas pollution.

That may not sound like such a headache-inducing roadblock, but in the world of international climate negotiations, every word counts. In previous drafts, the word “shall” had been “should” — and in the lingo of U.N. climate agreements, “shall” implies legal obligation and “should” does not. That means the word change could have obliged the Obama administration to submit the final deal to the Senate for its approval. And inevitably, the GOP-led chamber would kill it on sight.

“When I looked at that, I said, ‘We cannot do this and we will not do this,'” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters afterward. “‘And either it changes or President Obama and the United States will not be able to support this agreement.’”

And so the scrambling began. With the clock ticking and the start of the talks’ final meeting already delayed by several hours, top U.S. negotiators huddled in a cavernous plenary hall in this suburb of Paris trying to get the language changed. At the same time, supporters of the deal feared that re-opening the text would lead to a flood of revisions from other countries, possibly swamping the entire effort.

In the end, the U.S. persuaded the summit’s French hosts to change the wording, and the tweak was read aloud by a delegate in the plenary hall, lost in a package of other technical revisions. Minutes later, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius banged his gavel and the most significant international climate change deal in history won the resounding approval of 196 governments, representing nearly every country on the planet.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/paris-climate-talks-tic-toc-216721

COP21 Agreement announcement

“I want to commend President Hollande and Secretary General Ban for their leadership and for hosting such a successful summit, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for presiding with patience and resolve.  And I want to give a special thanks to Secretary John Kerry, my Senior Advisor Brian Deese, our chief negotiator Todd Stern, and everyone on their teams for their outstanding work and for making America proud.

I also want to thank the people of nearly 200 nations — large and small, developed and developing — for working together to confront a threat to the people of all nations.  Together, we’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one.”

12/12/15 President Obama’s remarks on the Paris Climate Agreement

 

U.S. Center COP21

http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/

Obama_Biden_thumbnail

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Cathching & Changing the Word “Should” to “Shall” @ COP21

  1. WH

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Cathching & Changing the Word “Should” to “Shall” @ COP21

    The one word that almost sank the climate talks

    U.S. tactics during the negotiations included making a last-minute tweak to the text and amassing a huge coalition to help pressure China and India.

    12/12/15 07:51 PM EST By Andrew Restuccia – politico

    LE BOURGET, France — After years of preparation and two weeks of tireless negotiations, after all the speeches and backroom compromising, one misplaced word brought the momentum toward a historic global deal on climate change to a halt Saturday — for at least a few hours.

    Obama administration lawyers discovered early in the day that the latest draft text had a potentially deal-killing tweak: Deep into the document, in Article 4, was a line declaring that wealthier countries “shall” set economy-wide targets for cutting their greenhouse gas pollution.

    That may not sound like such a headache-inducing roadblock, but in the world of international climate negotiations, every word counts. In previous drafts, the word “shall” had been “should” — and in the lingo of U.N. climate agreements, “shall” implies legal obligation and “should” does not. That means the word change could have obliged the Obama administration to submit the final deal to the Senate for its approval. And inevitably, the GOP-led chamber would kill it on sight.

    “When I looked at that, I said, ‘We cannot do this and we will not do this,'” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters afterward. “‘And either it changes or President Obama and the United States will not be able to support this agreement.’”

    And so the scrambling began. With the clock ticking and the start of the talks’ final meeting already delayed by several hours, top U.S. negotiators huddled in a cavernous plenary hall in this suburb of Paris trying to get the language changed. At the same time, supporters of the deal feared that re-opening the text would lead to a flood of revisions from other countries, possibly swamping the entire effort.

    In the end, the U.S. persuaded the summit’s French hosts to change the wording, and the tweak was read aloud by a delegate in the plenary hall, lost in a package of other technical revisions. Minutes later, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius banged his gavel and the most significant international climate change deal in history won the resounding approval of 196 governments, representing nearly every country on the planet.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/paris-climate-talks-tic-toc-216721

    • December 12, 2015

      U.S. Leadership and the Historic Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change

      U.S. LEADERSHIP AND THE HISTORIC PARIS AGREEMENT TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

      Today, more than 190 countries came together to adopt the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. The Paris Agreement establishes a long term, durable global framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. For the first time, all countries commit to putting forward successive and ambitious, nationally determined climate targets and reporting on their progress towards them using a rigorous, standardized process of review.

      The Agreement provides strong assurance to developing countries that they will be supported as they pursue clean and climate resilient growth. The deal builds on the unprecedented participation of 187 countries that submitted post-2020 climate action targets in advance of the meeting, and establishes a framework to ratchet up ambition by driving down global emissions in the decades to come.

      This new global framework lays the foundation for countries to work together to put the world on a path to keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and sets an ambitious vision to go even farther than that. This Agreement sends a strong signal to the private sector that the global economy is moving towards clean energy, and that through innovation and ingenuity, we can achieve our climate objectives while creating new jobs, raising standards of living and lifting millions out of poverty.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/12/us-leadership-and-historic-paris-agreement-combat-climate-change

    • December 12, 2015

      Statement by the President on the Paris Climate Agreement

      STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
      ON THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

      Cabinet Room

      5:30 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: In my first inaugural address, I committed this country to the tireless task of combating climate change and protecting this planet for future generations.

      Two weeks ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to accomplish this goal — an enduring agreement that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low-carbon future.

      A few hours ago, we succeeded. We came together around the strong agreement the world needed. We met the moment.

      I want to commend President Hollande and Secretary General Ban for their leadership and for hosting such a successful summit, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for presiding with patience and resolve. And I want to give a special thanks to Secretary John Kerry, my Senior Advisor Brian Deese, our chief negotiator Todd Stern, and everyone on their teams for their outstanding work and for making America proud.

      I also want to thank the people of nearly 200 nations — large and small, developed and developing — for working together to confront a threat to the people of all nations. Together, we’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/12/statement-president-paris-climate-agreement

  3. Happy and HOPEful Paris Climate Agreement Day, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    Thank you President Obama, for your years of heroic effort to give the US a record of action on climate and the environment and to bring the world to this historic day. And thank you Secretary of State Kerry, for all your negotiating work, your awesome proofreading skills and your insistence that a fatal word be changed!

  4. *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” United States Bill of Rights – 224th Anniversary ″

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

Comments are closed.