Britain expects 'imperfect' deal at Paris climate talks

An employee applies a COP21 climate-summit sticker on an electric Renault/Nissan Leaf car on November 16, 2015, as France readies for the global conference (AFP Photo/Patrick Kovarik)

London (AFP) - Britain expects an imperfect deal to be reached at an upcoming climate summit in Paris aimed at curtailing global warming, an official said on Tuesday.

"There is clear political momentum behind an agreement," David King, the British foreign minister's special representative for climate change, said at a news conference in London.

"We're very unlikely to see a breakdown in the negotiations... While we are likely to get a deal, it is not going to be a perfect deal."

King welcomed voluntary commitments to curb climate change submitted by 163 countries, which represent those responsible for over 90 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

"That in itself is a statement of intent around Paris, that we are likely to get a global agreement," he added.

Nevertheless any deal will have to be "reviewable" ideally every five years, King said. He added that Britain wanted a legally binding agreement to emerge from the summit.

The UN Conference of Parties (COP21) summit is to be held in Le Bourget, north of Paris, from November 30 to December 11, and is tasked with producing a deal committing all the world's nations to action starting in 2020.

About 160 countries have already filed voluntary carbon-curbing pledges to underpin the future pact, but scientists say the aggregate effect falls far short of what is necessary.