Venezuelan negotiator thanks Hugo Chavez for Paris climate deal

PARIS Venezuela’s chief climate negotiator aims to pay a visit to the tomb of late socialist President Hugo Chavez to honor him as the unacknowledged architect of the Paris agreement on Saturday to slow global warming.

“He was proper. We’re here simply because of him,” Claudia Salerno, amongst the most combative and extended-serving negotiators at U.N. talks, told Reuters, saying Chavez’s opposition that helped block a 2009 summit on international warming in Copenhagen was a spur for nations to return to negotiate a greater accord this year.

Chavez, who died of cancer in 2013, was amongst a handful of leaders, largely left-wingers from Latin America, who stated the climate deal in Copenhagen did not demand enough greenhouse gas cuts by rich nations.

“I will most most likely check out his tomb,” she stated, and take along the text of the Paris accord, which obliges developed nations to do far more to support poorer nations adapt to far more heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising seas.

Salerno reduce her hand banging the table in a fraught final evening of negotiations in Copenhagen. “Do you think a sovereign country has to actually reduce its hand and draw blood?” she asked the Danish hosts, accusing them of ignoring her.

Salerno’s Twitter profile has a photograph of Chavez in the background and she regularly wears a Chavez pin on her blazer.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gave Salerno, Venezuela’s ambassador to the European Union, responsibility for writing the preamble of the Paris accord. It consists of mentions of gender equality, human rights, rights of indigenous peoples and the want to shield Mother Earth.

Delegates mentioned that was part of a technique to head off possible objections from Venezuela after Copenhagen’s failure.

Salerno unnerved a lot of in Bonn in October by getting the most crucial at preparatory talks for Paris, saying: “I have seen this film … I hope this is not going to be a actually, genuinely nasty negative second Copenhagen”.

In Venezuela final week, the opposition won handle of the legislature for the very first time in 16 years of Socialist rule in an election in the OPEC nation.

On the world stage, Chavez most famously complained in 2006 at the United Nations of the “smell of sulphur” at a podium exactly where the “devil” George W. Bush had stood the day before.

Earlier this week, Salerno was already bullish on a final outcome. “For the first time we have this sense that lastly, our paranoia has disappeared,” she said.

Salerno mentioned she has had to raise her voice in the past to make confident other countries are heard in the talks.

She says her daughter, now seven, has been calling Salerno each day. “My children are asking me every single day if we reached a deal. That’s even a lot more stress than from my own government,” she stated.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle)

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