Paris climate talks: May says 46-page draft contains 'over 500' disagreements
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, December 5, 2015 12:11PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 5, 2015 12:29PM EST
Negotiators in Paris have come up with a draft deal to try and combat climate change.
But they'll have to work through hundreds of disagreements before they can sign off on a treaty, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says.
"Nothing has been agreed upon other than a text full of disagreements," May said on CTV's News Channel on Saturday. "The document has over 500 areas of disagreement within its 46 pages."
Despite the daunting number of disputes, May said leaders are making progress.
"They set a deadline (to write the draft by) noon, Saturday," she said. "They actually made that deadline of going through the text and agreeing 'this is in a good enough form that it can be sent forward.'"
Now, the Green Party leader said the draft will be passed on to senior negotiators, including ministers and ambassadors.
But delegates will have to work quickly if they want to reach an agreement before the end of the summit.
The talks are scheduled to wrap up on Friday, Dec. 11.
Will the draft lead to a legally binding deal?
According to May, "most countries" want to go home on Friday with a legally binding agreement.
But she said it's not easy to please everybody.
"Most countries here want this treaty to be legally binding. Now what does that mean and why are we hearing it might not be legally binding?" May said. "The United States is clearly the problem."
The U.S. congress is unlikely to approve any deal that includes legally binding emissions targets, so negotiators are working to make the treaty binding but the targets non-binding, May said.
This would also allow countries to update their targets more frequently.
What have Canadian negotiators been up to?
Speaking from Paris on Saturday, May praised the Canadian delegation and said she thinks the negotiators are doing a good job pushing important issues.
"Our negotiators have pushed to include language around indigenous peoples, and their role in fighting climate change," May said.
The Green Party leader also applauded the Canadians for working toward "just transition," to ensure that workers are treated fairly as the world shifts away from fossil fuels and towards different forms of energy.
Why did Canada need to bring such a large delegation to Paris?
May also defended the number of delegates Canada brought to Paris, noting that other countries, including Brazil, also brought hundreds of representatives to the summit.
Canada sent more than 300 politicians, government staff and bureaucrats to the talks, more than double the amount of people the U.S. sent, and triple the total from Britain.
But May said the Canadian number is not excessive
Between members of the media, premiers and their staff, and representatives from federal departments, May said it made sense that the group would have grown to more than 300.
"By the time you add all that up, it's not an unreasonably sized delegation," she said.