Almost 200 nations agree new rules to tackle climate change

19 December, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal

United Nations' climate talks to agree on the rules of the 2015 Paris Agreement became deadlocked late on Saturday over the monitoring of carbon credits to reduce emissions, in marathon negotiations which have already overrun.

The climate change conference, COP24, is closing today in Katowice, Poland.

Countries had been working for two weeks in Katowice, Poland, on a self-imposed deadline to produce a 'rulebook to flesh out details of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The announced conference President Michal Kurtyka, after no one raised in the plenary objections. "We will all have to be courageous to look into the future and make yet another step for the sake of humanity", he said. The decisions were "1000 small steps forward", he said. "You can be proud of".

Speaking hours before the final gavel, Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna suggested there was no alternative to such meetings if countries want to tackle global problems, especially at a time when multilateral diplomacy is under pressure from nationalism.

"If we don't do that, we will not survive", said former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed.

"Overall, the USA role here has been somewhat schizophrenic - pushing coal and dissing science on the one hand, but also working hard in the room for strong transparency rules", said Elliot Diringer of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a Washington think-tank. Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Kuwait and Russian Federation wanted the final statement to merely "note" the report on the effects of a 1.5°C rise in the global temperatures, which warned of climate chaos in less than 20 years unless more meaningful decarbonisation was pursued. And the 20 warmest have been in the past 22 years.

Parties need to revise and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions before 2020 in line with their fair share, because It is well known that current pledges will not be almost enough to limit warming to 1.5°C, Endalew said.

The fatal consequences, depending on the region, will be more heatwaves, longer droughts and more storms, heavy rain and higher water levels.

Primarily peer pressure is expected to keep everyone on course.

Another source close to the discussions said, "the outcome might be close".

Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal

At their heart, negotiations were quesitons as to how each nation funds action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as how those actions are reported.

One major sticking point was how to create a functioning market in carbon credits.

A participants leaves before the end of the final session of the COP24 summit on climate change.

Controversial were questions about financial aid from the richer countries to the poorer. "We are not responsible for the catastrophe that threatens us all".

Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan said more ambitious targets should have been set.

Students protest under the banner of "Fridays for Future" in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German federal parliament, in Berlin, Germany.

But to the frustration of environmental activists and some countries who were urging more ambitious climate goals, negotiators delayed decisions on two key issues until next year in an effort to get a deal on them. Instead, governments let people down again as they ignored the science and the plight of the vulnerable. While some rulebook elements still need to be fleshed out, the agreement lays a solid foundation for implementation and strengthening of the historic accord reached in Paris three years ago.

He said ambition will be at the centre of the Climate Summit that he will convene in September 2019.

Ultimately, the negotiations tripped on one key issue which will be back on the table at the next United Nations climate change conference, COP25, set to take place in Chile.

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