By Alister Doyle
GENEVA (Reuters) - Almost 200 nations complicated a drive for a U.N. deal to combat climate change in 2015 on Wednesday by more than doubling the length of a draft negotiating text to about 100 pages of radically varying solutions.
Government delegates said the additions at the Geneva talks, set for Feb. 8-13, were to let all countries air their views, ranging from OPEC nations fearful of phasing out fossil fuels to small island states worried about rising sea levels.
"It's like 195 authors trying to write a book together," said Ahmed Sareer of the Maldives, chair of the 44-nation Alliance of Small Island States, which added text including stress on a need for deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
"It's to be expected," Elina Bardram, head of the European Commission delegation, said of the additions.
The European Union added text, for instance, outlining proposals for cutting emissions from aviation and shipping under a global deal to avert more heatwaves, floods and droughts. The United Nations says 2014 was the warmest year on record.
The new text, of about 100 pages, swells a draft of 38 pages from talks in Lima last year, complicating the task ahead of a Paris summit starting in November that is due to agree a U.N. deal to limit global warming.
Geneva is the last session for adding texts. Under U.N. rules, an official draft as the basis for talks has to be ready six months before the summit.
The text lists a huge range of options that are unlikely to be resolved before Paris. One option is to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, another sets no clear timetable.
The length "is not a show-stopper," said Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, adding that it was vital to hear all views.
Still, the length, twinned with sharper positions by many nations, increased the challenge for the next round of talks in June, she said.
The last time nations tried to work out a deal to combat climate change, in Copenhagen in 2009, draft texts ended up unmanageably long at 200 pages, said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Copenhagen failed to nail down a deal.
"Adding text was the easy part," he said. Still, he said 100 pages should not be a problem since countries could not complain - as many did in Copenhagen - that their views had been ignored.
(Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Mark Heinrich)