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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, August 18, 2018

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Doha Climate Talks - as it happened: News and analysis

Final day of UN climate talks

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DOHA: It's officially the last day of the UN climate talks in Qatar, where nearly 200 countries have spent the past fortnight working to agree the next steps to a future climate treaty to be nailed down in 2015. 

However, in the tradition of recent years of talks, where the negotiations have run over by hours and even days, we're already hearing that a final agreement is not expected until Saturday, perhaps around noon. As our environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, tells me that's disappointing considering this was considered a housekeeping conference whose aims were all "eminently doable".

Here are the four key areas that officials are trying to agree on:

1. A continuation of the Kyoto protocol, the only existing legal international treaty for cutting emissions, by the EU, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia

2. An end to the "twin track" negotiating process that the talks have operated under for several years - the "Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA)" and the Kyoto protocol group

3. Principles around climate finance to see money transferred from rich to poor countries, though specific numbers are not expected

4. Most crucially, a roadmap to a legal climate treaty to make all the countries in the talk cut emissions, to be agreed by 2015 and come into effect by 2020

Protest at conference hall

Appears a flashmob just popped up at the Qatar National Convention Centre where the talks are hosted, protesting at the lack of ambition shown by negotiators from the 194 countries present in Doha.

It's a welcome bit of drama from civic society, who in recent years at UN conferences in Durban, Cancún and Copenhagen have injected urgency and certainly colour to the long-running negotiations.

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