Negotiations extended at UN Climate Conference

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, President of the UN climate change conference (COP21), brief the press in Paris. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Negotiations on a new, universal climate deal have been extended at least through Saturday.

It was hoped agreement would be reached on Friday, but negotiators at the UN climate conference, known as COP21, say they need more time to reach consensus on a number of important issues.

Cristina Silverio is at the summit and files this report.

Negotiators worked through the night on the climate deal, but as a new day dawned in Paris it became clear that more time would be needed to reach a final agreement.

At midday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took to the podium here at COP21 and said he was encouraged by the progress that had been made overnight.

"This morning, we have a much cleaner, streamlined text.  This is a good basis for further negotiations." 

The UN chief told reporters that the talks were highly complex and an agreement on a number of key issues had yet to be reached.

"By any standard, by far, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity." 

Foreign Affairs Minister and COP21 President Laurent Fabius also briefed the press, saying he planned to present an updated text on Saturday morning.  Mr Fabius went on to say that he was optimistic and – quote – "we are almost there".

Cristina Silverio, United Nations.

Duration: 1'05"

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