U.S. Envoy Kerry Joins U.N. Climate Talks to Drive 'Ambitious Deal'


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris on Monday for the final intense days of negotiation at a U.N. conference seeking a landmark pact on climate change.

Senior U.S. officials said Washington was cautiously optimistic the talks, scheduled to end on Friday, would unlock an ambitious deal to lower carbon emissions and combat the impact of global warming.

But some areas of hard bargaining remain, particularly in climate finance.

"We're trying to shift the paradigm from one of developed countries only providing public assistance to a broader paradigm to where all countries are engaged in a partnership together to try to mobilize resources both public and private, because without that there's no way that countries will be able to transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy," an official said.

U.S. negotiators said they expected tough talks on finance to go on at least until late Wednesday, but that they still have hope a serious deal can be reached. 

"We want an ambitious agreement," a senior official told reporters before Kerry left Washington.

"We mean that countries should come back at around 2020, maybe 2021, to put forward the next round of commitments," he said, referring to the roster of voluntary emissions curbs that lie at the heart of the envisioned accord.  

"For the United States that would be 2030 because our current commitment is for 2025.  

"And we would hope that countries that currently have a 2030 commitment would examine whether, in the light of five more years of technology development and political will, they might be able to do something more ambitious at that time."

After arriving at Le Bourget airport on the northern outskirts of Paris, Kerry was to proceed immediately to a private meeting with his French counterpart, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Kerry and a large U.S. negotiating team plan to spend the entire week in Paris taking part in technical and political negotiations on a final deal and taking part in public events to push support for the issues.

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