4 Dec 2015

Frustration at slowness of climate change talks

8:47 am on 4 December 2015

Frustration is beginning to mount at the slow rate of progress at the Paris climate change talks, which are nearing the end of their first week.

The 'Solutions COP21' exhibition at Grand Palais in Paris as part the COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change.

The 'Solutions COP21' exhibition at Grand Palais in Paris as part the COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change. Photo: AFP

More than 40,000 delegates from almost 200 countries are meeting to try to nail down a global deal to combat climate change.

World leaders opened the two-week conference on Monday, and since then officials have been trying to get the negotiating text down to a manageable size for ministers, when they take over the talks next week.

There are a number of issues slowing progress, but at the heart of it all is the divide between the developed and the developing countries.

One of the main problems is around finance - how much the richer, more industrialised countries should pay the poorer, emerging economies to help them adapt to, and mitigate, climate change.

There is also pressure on France, which as the host country has the presidency of the talks, to rein in the negotiations.

There have been many smaller negotiating meetings going on outside the main plenary sessions, which is causing frustration for smaller countries that do not have enough people to get to all the smaller meetings, as well as the main sessions.

The United Nations released an updated 50-page draft of the text overnight on Thursday.

Officials have until Saturday morning New Zealand time to whittle it down even further so it can be ready for the high-level section of the meeting, which is due to kick off on Monday.

That is when environment and climate change ministers give national statements and the hard negotiating begins.

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