Poor countries have accused a handful of richer nations of holding up progress on tackling the climate crisis at UN talks in Madrid, as demonstrators and activists vented their frustration in the final hours of two weeks of negotiations. The talks, which had been due to end on Friday, dragged on with negotiators still battling on Saturday to salvage a result, as governments wrangled over the details of a seemingly arcane issue: carbon markets, governed by a provision of the 2015 Paris agreement known as article 6. Brazil, India and China were singled out as acting to block agreement on article 6, as ministers from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) warned that their countries would suffer most if there was no decision. Simon Stiell, Grenada’s environment minister, speaking for AOSIS, urged all parties to reach a compromise. “Our countries will be rendered uninsurable if we breach 1.5C warming,” he said. There was a widespread view among delegates that Brazil was refusing to compromise on article 6 as a means of holding up implementation of the Paris accord. Brazil’s rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro, is hostile to the Paris agreement, and is accused of paving the way for devastating fires set by ranchers in the Amazon, but the government is still officially a party to the UN talks.
Guardian 13th Dec 2019 read more »
OFFICIALS at this year’s UN climate summit plan to propose a compromise to bridge differences between countries in deadlock. With the meeting already into extra time, draft documents presented overnight failed to achieve a consensus.
The National 15th Dec 2019 read more »
Tense UN climate talks in Madrid are still running long into extra time this evening, with fears growing that the negotiations could be limping towards a deeply underwhelming outcome that could deal a major blow to the credibility of the Paris Agreement. Observers fear blocking tactics from a handful of countries could yet result in a watering down of the ambition contained in the Summit’s closing text, while also kicking crucial technical decisions on the rulebook for the Paris Agreement into next year. In addition, fears remain that increasingly ill-tempered exchanges between those nations pushing for a more ambitious agreement and those who wish to dilute the text could yet result in a walk out. Countries have been gridlocked over how forcefully the agreement should push for countries to strengthen their national climate action plans next year. Disagreements over core aspects of the Paris Agreement – such as the rules that should govern a planned expansion of global carbon markets – have dominated the past fortnight of talks and also remain unresolved, with negotiating teams working through the night yesterday in a bid to secure a positive outcome. But while a raft of smaller nations have teamed up with the UK and the EU to repeatedly stressed that they do not want to leave COP25 without a strong climate deal, they are understood to be facing fierce opposition from Australia, Brazil, and the US.
Business Green 14th Dec 2019 read more »