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Deadline Nears For Negotiators To Reach Deal On Climate Change


At the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, negotiators have 48 hours until their deadline to reach a deal on global warming. Our ALL THINGS CONSIDERED co-host Ari Shapiro is there.


And today, Secretary of State John Kerry said this here in Paris.

JOHN KERRY: If we continue to allow calculated obstruction to derail the urgency of this moment, we will be liable for a collective moral failure of historic consequences.

SHAPIRO: NPR science correspondent Chris Joyce is here with me covering these talks. And, Chris, what stood out to you about Secretary Kerry's speech today?

CHRIS JOYCE, BYLINE: The word moral. A lot of the developing countries have made this a moral issue, especially island states who see imminent inundation from climate change. And what Kerry is saying is we hear you. We understand it's not just a matter of dollars it's cents, it's a moral issue for the world. But almost in the same breath, he also reminded the people and the rest of the world, the less developed countries, look, you're in this too. You have to help pull because we can't curb climate change without everybody participating. And in fact, his speech was sort of a catchall. I mean, he was sending a message to the negotiators saying, look, we've got two days left. Pull up your socks, we've got a lot to do. It was a message to people back in the United States. He said we're giving 400 million more dollars for countries to adapt to climate change, but don't worry, Americans, we're not going to open the door to the Treasury and shovel money out. We're going to try to get Wall Street to get private investment going in order to complement what's coming out of the Treasury.

SHAPIRO: The other big thing that happened today was we got a new draft agreement of this deal that everybody is working towards two days from now. What does the draft agreement look like at this point? Is it close to final? Is it in good shape?

JOYCE: Down from 48 pages to 29 you could say...

SHAPIRO: Well, that's good.

JOYCE: Sounds good. But there are also 366 bracketed pieces of language.

SHAPIRO: Bracketed?

JOYCE: Forty-seven options so, no, not basketball. This is all about language that people would like to see but doesn't look like it's going to be in there. Everybody has a different version of what they want.

SHAPIRO: So brackets are tentative?

JOYCE: They're tentative, and that means they have to come out, eventually, over the next two days.

SHAPIRO: What are a couple of the big sticking points still?

JOYCE: Oh, there's more than a couple (laughter). But let's just - let's go with I say, for example, there are countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

SHAPIRO: Produce lots of oil.

JOYCE: Oil and gas - their future depends on oil and gas. A lot of what's coming into this document is saying let's get away from oil and gas. So they're very worried about what is written into the text of the document that might make oil and gas less desirable. India, for example, also is very dependent on coal for the next several decades. They need to develop - they need to bring electricity to their population. However, a lot of the document says we've got to get away from coal. We need to maybe not invest in coal. India's worried about that.

SHAPIRO: That's NPR's Chris Joyce here covering the U.N. climate talks with me in Paris. Thanks, Chris.

JOYCE: I am very glad to be here. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.