Article 2 of the draft COP21 agreement:
“1.[All Parties [shall] regularly prepare, communicate [and implement] [intended] nationally determined [contributions][components] [on [mitigation] and adaptation] [undertakings in adaptation planning] [and means of implementation]”
This is just one sentence in the draft of the accord being negotiated in Le Bourget this week. Everything that is in parenthesis is in contention by a negotiator from a member country. “Shall” and “should” have different meanings – one is legally binding and the other simply a recommendation. As I understand it, there are now hundreds of lawyers combing through the document. Imminently, countries will make known the ideas on which they are willing to negotiate and those they are not. Each country gets time to speak in front of the negotiating parties, and these meetings are held behind closed doors.
There seems to be a public and a private side to the “blue zone” at COP21, with most negotiating action happening behind closed doors. There is a security guard outside of each meeting room checking for appropriate credentials. The halls of the meeting room area have a quiet seriousness that is far different from the high energy found elsewhere. Away from the private rooms are the country exhibit areas. Negotiators can be seen working and relaxing in these areas. The press is everywhere, but also has a large central base in the midst of it all. People from 194 countries are going about the business of our climate future in every part of the huge complex.