11 Dec 2015

'Organised chaos' at Paris climate talks

7:58 am on 11 December 2015

Climate change talks in Paris have reached a stage of "organised chaos", according to New Zealand Climate Change Minister Tim Groser.

An Eiffel Tower made of bistro chairs is seen covered in messages related to climate change at COP21.

An Eiffel Tower made of bistro chairs is seen covered in messages related to climate change at COP21. Photo: AFP

The French president of the meeting, Laurent Fabius, is due to release another draft of the document this morning, as the UN talks grind toward tomorrow morning's deadline for an agreement.

Negotiators worked through the night to try to resolve their differences - with some countries compromising, but others drawing firm lines in the sand.

But Mr Groser said the mood was far more optimistic than the failed 2009 talks in Copenhagen and he remained doggedly optimistic that a deal would be done.

"My political sense is that everybody wants a deal and I'm not sure that was the case in Copenhagen, so it looks like chaos but I think I'd call it organised chaos.

"At the end of the day we're not going to sit down in a room and negotiate a text. What is going on is a giant game of sending signals to the French, who are holding the pen to allow them to make some very fine balancing judgements about the sweet spot on some of the big issues."

Tim Groser

Tim Groser Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Groser said while there were more draft texts to come there would come a point of no return.

"When the clock is stopped and the French presidency will say 'we have a moment of choice here' and then the great clobbering machine in international diplomacy will start to move.

"The first important thing is to get the most important centres of power in the world's developed and developing countries to agree that this is the best we are going to get, let's do the deal.

"Then there will the question of dealing with the poor, the tired and the disappointed - It's brutal, but it usually works."

The deadline for the final deal is less than 24 hours from now, but the conference is likely to run over time.