Published: Wed, December 19, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal

Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal

The Paris Agreement aimed to limit global temperature rises to below 2C.

Some observers predicted the talks would likely continue into Saturday in an effort to secure a deal this year and maintain confidence in the multi-step global process.

"Polish Presidency informs that a preliminary version of the package implementing the Paris Agreement has been worked out".

Negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP24, dragged on into the final hours of Saturday, one full day beyond the original deadline, suffering some holdback due to certain objections of Brazil and Turkey.

The UN climate conference came as latest reports show that climate challenges remain undeterred and global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018.

"One of those key rules - which is the bedrock of carbon markets - is no double counting of emissions reductions".

Negotiators from almost 200 countries on Saturday agreed on a package of implementation guidelines, or a common rulebook of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

That is the lower end of the 1.5-to-2C (2.7-3.6F) scale mentioned in the Paris accord.

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But with the starkest warnings yet from scientists highlighting the need to drastically slash fossil fuel emissions within the coming decades in order to meet the safer cap of 1.5C warming, delegates were urged to act now or condemn at-risk nations to disaster.

Negotiators had been struggling to reach agreement on the rules for an global market in carbon credits, which support carbon-cutting projects in poorer countries.

Four nations - the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait - blocked a proposal for nations to "welcome" the IPCC report as a basis of future climate action. For two full days, and one whole night, it argued, backed silently by India and China and a few others, for allowing the unused carbon credits of developing countries, earned in the existing carbon markets under the Kyoto Protocol, to be transitioned to the new one being created under the Paris Agreement. "We will not reopen negotiations on issues where we have already reached agreement".

"Brazil is now working with other parties on a bridging proposal", said the country's chief negotiator, Antonio Marcondes.

The package also includes guidelines that relate to the process for establishing new targets on finance from 2025 onwards to follow-on from the current target of mobilizing 100 billion US dollars per year from 2020 to support developing countries.

Mohamed Adow, a climate expert at Christian Aid, said the discussions on financial support seemed to be moving in the right direction, though the overall outcome of the talks was uncertain.

Chile will host the UN's next climate conference in December 2019 or January 2020, the country's Environment Ministry announced on Friday.

Hours ahead of the United Nations climate talks are set to end here, diplomats from across the world Friday came up with a "weak" draft text on a rulebook for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement post-2020, even as key issues like finance remain unresolved.

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