A coalition representing more than 100 countries, formed in secrecy six months ago, has emerged at Paris to push for a legally binding global and ambitious deal on climate change. The “high ambition coalition” speaks for the majority of the 195 countries at COP 21 and includes 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the US and all of EU member states. But notable exceptions include major developing countries such as China and India.
The group is focusing on at least four key issues. They want an agreement at Paris to be legally binding; to set a clear long-term goal on global warming that is in line with scientific advice; to introduce a mechanism for reviewing countries’ emissions commitments every five years; and create a unified system for tracking countries’ progress on meeting their carbon goals.
This kind of strategic bridging across traditional divides may break the long-standing impasse at climate negotiations.The leadership exercised by Marshall Islands Tony de Brum is exactly what is needed. Hopefully China's leaders will recognize the necessity to commit, given the recent first ever red alert for pollution in Bejing.