19 December 2015
It was breakfast time at 7am but for the Singaporean negotiators participating in the Paris climate talks last week, their day was just coming to an end after yet another overnight session of hard bargaining among more than 190 countries on acceptable language for a global climate framework.
Team Singapore — led by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and consisting of several dozen senior and mid-level officials from across the civil service — would rest for a couple of hours before the next round of talks resumed.
For most of the officials, the two-week summit in Paris was the culmination of several years of calculated negotiations in different corners of the globe. By now, they knew the importance of having tenacity, stamina and finesse in seeking common ground with so many different nations for an unprecedented accord. On this home stretch, there was to be no giving up.
… Ms Goh Tian, an associate research fellow from the Centre for Non–Traditional Security Studies at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said it is not clear if the Paris accord will be able to address climate change, especially since all the INDCs taken together would still lead to a global temperature increase of 2.7°C, according to the Climate Action Tracker.
“Although parties have agreed on a target temperature increase of well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the link between the total global emissions and this temperature target is not clear in the agreement,” said Ms Goh, who is a former climate negotiator. How the emission targets pledged by countries will be evaluated during the five-year regular review is also not clear, she added.
NTS Centre / Online / Print
Last updated on 21/12/2015