Thursday, January 23, 2020 | ePaper

UN climate talks in limbo as rifts among countries remain

  • Print


A woman looks at a World globe at the COP25 climate talks congress in Madrid, Spain, on Friday. Officials from almost 200 countries are scrambling to reach an agreement at a United Nations climate meeting amid growing concerns that key issues may be postp

AP, Madrid :
Countries remained deadlocked Saturday in talks over combating climate change as U.N. talks dragged on beyond the official deadline with no end in sight.
Chile's environment minister, Carolina Schmidt, who is chairing the two-week talks in Madrid, urged officials from almost 200 countries to recognize the "overall balance" of the latest draft agreements hammered out overnight.
"We must show the outside world that we deliver," she said.
Environmental activists staged protests inside and around the venue during the talks, as they have around the world in the past year, to demand leaders take bolder action against global warming.
Many nations and observers said the latest draft agreements risked backtracking on existing commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord and didn't reflect the urgent warnings from scientists that greenhouse gas emissions need to fall sharply, and soon.
"If this text is accepted, the low ambition coalition will have won the day," said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank.
Among the issues at stake are aid for poor countries suffering the impacts of climate change and efforts to agree rules for international markets to trade carbon emissions vouchers.
Schmidt said that the latest drafts attempt to provide "a sensible and workable solution" on carbon markets.
Scientists have amassed a mountain of evidence pointing to even more dire impacts on the near horizon, while millions of youth activists are holding weekly strikes demanding government action.
Sixteen-year-old activist Greta Thunberg led student marchers in Turin, Italy Friday, and chastised world leaders for acting "as if there is no tomorrow".
Briefing journalists as talks sailed past their provisional deadline, host Chile's coordinator Andres Landerretche admitted "the eyes of the people are on us".
"We must show the world that we are capable of delivering the agreements that are needed to tackle the unprecedented challenge before us," he said.
As pressure inside and outside the talks mounted however, old splits between rich polluters and developing nations re-emerged over who should slash greenhouse gas emissions by how much, and how to pay the trillions needed to live in a climate-addled world.
Newer fissures, meanwhile, between poor, climate-vulnerable nations and emerging giants such as China and India - the world's No.1 and No.4 emitters - also blocked progress.
The narrow aim of the Madrid negotiations is to finalise the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate accord, which enjoins nations to limit global temperature rises to "well below" two degrees Celsius.
Earth has already warmed 1C, and is on track to heat up another two or three degrees by 2100.
But "raising ambition" on emissions remains the overarching goal in Madrid and especially next year, when Glasgow will host the last climate summit before the Paris treaty becomes operational.
The draft Madrid agreement under negotiation, which must be approved by consensus, lays out two options.
The first - favoured by nations reluctant to enhance their targets in the short term, including the US, India, China and Saudi Arabia - simply repeats language in the 2015 treaty.
But a group of more than 80 poor and climate-vulnerable nations backed by the European Union are insisting on a stronger commitment from all.
"(We) will not walk away without a clear call for all countries to enhance their ambitions," said Marshall Islands climate envoy Tina Stege.

More News For this Category

Russian MPS give quick first approval to Putin reforms

Russian MPS give quick first approval to Putin reforms

AFP, Moscow  :Russian lawmakers on Thursday unanimously approved a sweeping constitutional reform bill put forward by President Vladimir Putin in its first reading, after less than two hours of debate.All

Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary for  defamation, seeks $50m

Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary for defamation, seeks $50m

Reuters, Washington :Democratic presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard sued Hillary Clinton for defamation on Wednesday, seeking at least $50 million in damages for harming her reputation by suggesting last year that

Brexit Bill clears Britain parliament, set to become law

Brexit Bill clears Britain parliament, set to become law

After years of acrimonious debate, British lawmakers on Wednesday finally approved the terms of their country's historic departure from the European Union-due in just nine days time.MPs in the lower

World leaders in Israel to recall horrors of Auschwitz

World leaders in Israel to recall horrors of Auschwitz

AFP, Jerusalem.:Israel hosts dozens of world leaders Thursday to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, the World War II death camp where the Nazis killed more than 1.1

A month of misery in Myanmar's Rakhine

Al Jazeera News  :Hundreds of people continue to cross the border into Bangladesh one month since the start of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine state where raids by Rohingya

News In Brief

Trump to become first US President to attend anti-abortion rallyAFP, WashingtonUS President Donald Trump said Wednesday he plans to attend the March for Life rally this week and become the

Russia gets new govt in what  Putin calls ‘major renewal’

Russia gets new govt in what Putin calls ‘major renewal’

Reuters, Moscow :Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new government on Tuesday which he described as a break with the past, bringing in some fresh faces but retaining many senior

Venezuela intelligence agents raid Guaido offices: Opposition

Venezuela intelligence agents raid Guaido offices: Opposition

AFP, Caracas :Agents from Venezuela's Sebin intelligence service on Tuesday raided the offices of opposition leader Juan Guaido while he traveled in Europe, an opposition lawmaker said."We have just confirmed

Hillary Clinton says ‘nobody likes’ Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton says ‘nobody likes’ Bernie Sanders

AFP, New York :Hillary Clinton launched a scathing attack on presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, her rival for the 2016 Democratic nomination, telling a documentary that "nobody likes him."The former US

Ousted Grammy CEO files explosive discrimination complaint

Ousted Grammy CEO files explosive discrimination complaint

AFP, Los Angeles :The ousted chief of the organization behind the Grammys filed a complaint on Tuesday accusing the Recording Academy of putting her on leave after she raised concerns