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Does Premature Paris Climate Deal Risk a Painful Birth?

When ministers and climate change negotiators from the world's poorest countries gathered in Kinshasa recently, they were dismayed at a proposal from the Third World Network (TWN) urging them not to rush into signing the new Paris climate agreement at a U.N. ceremony this week.

TWN, a Malaysia-based policy group, had suggested developing countries wait a little, to make sure richer nations follow through on existing pledges of funding and technical help for them shift to greener growth, and adapt to more extreme weather and rising seas.

The ministers and officials representing the group of 48 least developed countries (LDCs) instead issued a statement urging all countries to participate in the signing ceremony in New York on Friday.

They called on them to ratify the Paris Agreement "at the earliest possible date", in an effort to ensure implementation "as soon possible".

Achala Abeysinghe, a legal expert on climate change negotiations with the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), said the 37 or so countries at the Kinshasa meeting all indicated they would head to New York.

With around 155 countries now expected to ink the agreement this week - and a handful of them, mainly small island states, well on the way to ratification - there is optimism that the climate deal will come into force earlier than envisaged.

Alex Lecea

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