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France's Fabius announces final draft at COP21 climate summit

France's foreign minister has presented a final draft text of the Paris Pact. In the final hours before an agreement is due, negotiators are working hard to have their views heard.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius presented the latest draft text of a climate deal just before midday (1100 UTC) in Paris which he hopes will secure an agreement to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Cheers and applause greeted the French host before he proposed a 195-nation accord to curb emissions of heat-trapping gasses that threaten to wreak havoc on the planet's climate system.

Fabius said the accord would aim to keep the rise in global temperatures "well below" two degrees Celcius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times to the end of this century.

The French host added the propsed climate accord would cost 91 billion euros ($100 billion) a year until 2020.

French President Francois Hollande used the plenary session to call on all nations present to adopt "the first universal agreement on climate." Speaking to delegates the president added that the deal would be "unprecedented" in the history of international climate talks.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also made an impassioned plea for diplomats negotiating the accord.

"The world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom," Ban told those gathered.

"The time has come to acknowledge that national interests are best served by acting in the international interest," he added.

Down to the wire

Ministers must now decided whether or not to approve the accord. If the text is agreed, it will be the first time all the world's countries would collectivly pledge to reduce their emissions. The Kyoto Protocol, agreed in 1997, only applied to rich countries.

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"Everything is in place to achieve a universal, ambitious accord," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is presiding over the talks, had said on Friday.

If the text fails to get up, talks could run into Sunday, but some delegates were confident a deal was imminent.

"I think we’re done here," Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum told the Reuters news agency, expressing hopes for a deal.

Negotiators had been up until 3 a.m. working on the accord.

Cooperation needed

Fabius said a final climate pact would be legally binding on states.

An agreement would finally end the decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how best to fund the climate change fight.

With 2015 forecast to be the hottest year on record, scientists and world leaders warned in the lead up to the draft agreement that a cap on rising temperatures is vital to avert the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

Saturday’s extended talks come after negotiators missed the initial Friday deadline to sign the accord with feuding delegates refusing to budge.

At the crux of the pact is cutting back or eliminating the use of coal, oil and gas for energy.

jlw/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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