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Africa

Hollande vaunts 'historic' climate-saving blueprint but countries still need to agree

media French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal (L), French President Francois Hollande (2ndL), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (C) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2ndR) applaud at the COP21 Climate Conference in Le Bourget AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

A proposed universal accord to curb global warming received rapturous applause on Saturday after being submitted to ministers at the Cop21 Climate Conference in Le Bourget, north of Paris. French hosts have described the draft accord as "historic"; it's now up to ministers to decide whether or not to approve it.

"History has arrived," declared French President François Hollande on Saturday, shortly after the proposed 195-nation accord was presented to ministers.

What it entails, goes beyond initial estimations forecasting a 2°C limit to global warming; that figure has now been raised to 1.5°C.

"This draft accord is ambitious, balanced, and measured," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, furthermore it is "fair and legally binding," he added.

After a fortnight of intense negotiations and lack of sleep, negotiators finally etched a deal to prevent the planet from being overwhelmed by catastrophic climate change.

The main points are as follows:

  • Limit of global temperatures to 1.5°C
  • 100$ billion (92 billion euros) fund for poor countries per year
  • Assessment every 5 years
  • Legally binding

But it's still just a pre-agreement and no one has as yet aproved it.

"Countries need to finish the job," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, urging the 195 nations to adopt the climate-saving blueprint.

"Don't miss your opportunity with history," a serious Hollande insisted in the same vein.

"The world is holding its breath and counting on all of us," added Fabius, his voice occasionally breaking with emotion.

The draft deal will be submitted to a formal vote this afternoon.

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