Paris: Draft climate change deal signed minutes before deadline

A draft agreement has been reached at the UN climate change summit.Reuters

Senior officials from almost 200 nations have approved a draft text of a UN climate deal  after four years' work as the basis for ministers to try to resolve hundreds of points of disagreement next week.

"This text marks the will of all to reach an agreement. We are not at the end of the route. Major political issues are yet to be resolved," Laurence Tubiana, French climate envoy, told the meeting.

The senior government officials signed off on the draft text, running to 42 pages, minutes before a midday  deadline after working through the night.

The idea is that the text lays out options, ranging from a long-term goal for slowing climate change to rising climate finance for developing nations, that can be resolved by ministers next week at talks lasting until Friday.

Many nations said the draft, the result of four years of work since the process was launched in Durban in 2011, left too many issues unresolved.

"We had hoped that our work would be further advanced," said Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa, who speaks on behalf of more than 130 developing nations.

"We call on our partners to listen to our concerns as we work together to find solutions."