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‘COP21 delegations are working in a determined manner’

Fourteen ministers have been appointed as 'ambassadors of compromise' on the toughest issues.

President Barack Obama (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) have dinner at the Ambroisie restaurant in Paris, with Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R), French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal, (3rd R) and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, (2nd L) as part of the COP21 World Climate Change Conference in Le Bourget, north of Paris, on 30 November, 2015. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - French Foreign Minister and the man chairing the negotiations at the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Laurent Fabius, says while there's not much time left to reach a global climate deal, the general spirit is positive, and delegations are working in a "determined manner".

It's hoped that ministers from nearly 200 countries will sign an accord on Friday that will be the world's first universal agreement to combat climate change and its impacts.

Fabius has appointed 14 ministers to be "ambassadors of compromise" on the toughest issues at these talks and warned them to expect late nights.

Fabius says while there's been significant progress on the draft text of an agreement, there's still a lot of work to be done.

He's identified four cross-cutting issues, that could make or break a deal: finance, ambition in terms of emissions targets, the different responsibilities rich and poor countries have in this process and what sorts of actions will be taken before 2020, when whatever is signed here comes into force.

The ministers he's appointed will be trying to find common ground between different and dissenting countries and reporting to him in as special committee every evening.