UN climate agreement reached in marathon session

The fortnight it took for UN climate talks to finally stagger to an end in Lima on Sunday morning has shaken many assumptions about what it will take to achieve the historic global climate deal due to be sealed in Paris next December.

“If so much blood flows negotiating the prenuptial, what does that mean for the marriage?” asked Yvo de Boer, a former UN climate chief who heads the Global Green Growth Institute that helps developing nations.

The Lima meeting did eventually manage to fulfil its main aim of approving guidelines for how countries will set out their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the lead-up to the Paris agreement. The agreement, if it is approved, would be the first to commit all countries to make such reductions.

But this only happened after a fraught round of negotiations that ran more than 30 hours overtime and sometimes appeared to be in danger of collapsing.

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