EU joins poor nations to seek ambitious climate deal

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Europe has joined forces with some of the poorest countries in the world to call for an ambitious global climate deal as the clock ticks on crucial UN talks.

More than 100 countries across the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states have agreed they want to see a legally binding, ambitious and fair deal that sets out a long-term goal to tackle climate change which matches the science.

The statement was released as countries draw dividing lines ahead the final days of negotiations on getting a new climate deal, and sees some of the poorest nations and those most vulnerable to climate change align themselves with the EU to get the ambitious agreement they need.

It comes amid fears that some countries are using the negotiations process to slow down progress so an unambitious deal is finalised in the last hours of the conference.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific states warn the adverse impacts of climate change threaten their very survival and prevent them tackling poverty.

The EU and the 79 ACP countries are calling for a five-yearly review mechanism to examine progress on cutting emissions and to enhance action to tackle climate change, where possible, and transparency on how countries are doing on delivering their national pledges for climate action.

The statement focuses on some of the key sticking points, including a long-term goal for driving down emissions and curbing temperature rises, and the review and ratchet mechanism allowing countries to revisit their climate action plans and increase ambition.

Making sure ambition can be raised is key to achieving the 2C limit - beyond which "dangerous" climate change is expected - or the more stringent 1.5C more than 100 countries have backed at the talks as current pledges by countries for climate action will only put the world on a path to almost 3C.

Meanwhile the "Basic" group of countries, Brazil, South Africa, India and China, have also issued a statement calling for a legally binding and ambitious deal, and calling on rich countries to "substantially scale up" finance - another sticking point - to help developing countries cope with climate change and develop cleanly.

They also call for developed countries to take more action before 2020.

EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said: "These negotiations are not about 'them' and 'us'. These negotiations are about all of us, both developed and developing countries, finding common ground and solutions together.

"This is why the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have agreed to join forces for an ambitious outcome here in Paris. We urge other countries to join us. Together we can do it.

"The EU stands shoulder to shoulder with its long term partners in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions."

ACP secretary general Patrick Gomes said: "The EU and the ACP Group represent a great majority of countries in the world and we want an ambitious Paris Agreement to accelerate the global transition that we urgently need.

"Now is the time for leaders to be ambitious. The adverse impacts of climate change threaten the world as a whole, including the very survival of the 79 countries of the ACP Group."