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Diplomats release new draft of climate change deal

Negotiators released a new, shorter draft of an international accord to fight global warming Wednesday, leaving key issues unresolved just two days before the high-stakes talks in Paris are scheduled to end.

US Secretary of State John Kerry challenged diplomats to reach agreement by Friday’s self-imposed deadline, promising American funding for countries hit hardest by the rising seas and extreme weather that scientists attribute to human-made emissions.

The new draft released by the UN climate agency is 29 pages, down from a 43-page version issued Saturday. There are about 100 places where there are decisions still to be made, including multiple options left in brackets, or blank spaces.

One major issue remains money. The draft doesn’t settle the question of whether advanced developing countries should join wealthy nations in helping the poorest and most vulnerable nations deal with climate change.

It doesn’t resolve the question of the long-term goal of the accord — whether it is to remove carbon emissions from the economy altogether or just reduce them. Nor does it settle whether governments are aiming to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial times or closer to 2°C (3.6°F).

— AP

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