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article imageUN climate talks in limbo as countries refuse to compromise

By Karen Graham     Dec 14, 2019 in Environment
Madrid - The climate talks in Madrid have encountered some huge obstacles after participating countries failed to come to a consensus on draft documents presented overnight.
Chilean officials presiding over this year's COP25 plan on presenting a compromise draft document that they hope will bring countries back together on key issues that have torn them apart over the past two weeks, according to the Associated Press.
Right now, with the meeting already in overtime, there is the real fear by observers and environmentalists that the commitments made at the 2015 Paris Accord will be undermined or stalled, according to CTV News Canada.
On Saturday, Chilean diplomat Andrés Landerretche told reporters that with the new compromise being circulated today, there would have to be trade-offs if the deal was going to be supported by all countries. “It’s impossible to have a consensus outcome if you don’t compromise,” he said.
The BBC is reporting that Alden Meyer, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the situation in Madrid was unprecedented since climate negotiations began in 1991. "The latest version of the Paris Agreement decision text put forward by the Chilean presidency is totally unacceptable. It has no call for countries to enhance the ambition of their emissions reduction commitments."
"If world leaders fail to increase ambition in the lead up to next year's climate summit in Glasgow, they will make the task of meeting the Paris Agreement's well below 2C temperature limitation goal - much less the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal - almost impossible."
The world is on fire
“The planet is on fire and our window of escape is getting harder and harder to reach the longer we fail to act,” Meyer said. And Mr. Meyer is right. While diplomats at COP25 are trying to sort out what will be best for their own country as opposed to the rest of the world, concerns over the climate crisis have grown.
In the past year, millions of people, led by the youth of the world, have staged protests because they are concerned about the future and what we will be leaving for the next generation.
During COP25, demonstrations took place inside and outside the venue while the meeting has gone on, with Greta Thunberg, the most vocal and prominent voice calling for action to curb emissions. Some countries said it was time to heed those demands.
"We have the science. We have the collective will to deliver enshrined in the Paris agreement. And now it is time to step up," said Ola Elvestuen, Norway's environment minister.
Jake Schmidt, from the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council, said: "In Madrid, the key polluting countries responsible for 80% of the world's climate-wrecking emissions, stood mute, while smaller countries announced they'll work to drive down harmful emissions in the coming year."
Earlier in the meeting, a coalition of small nations pointed out that some key nations, including Australia, the United States, Canada, Russia, India, China, and Brazil.had failed to submit revised plans that would help the world keep the rise in global temperatures under 1.5C this century.
Negotiators seem to have forgotten the promises made by larger countries at the 2015 Paris Accord when everyone agreed the deal would only work if everyone pledged to cut carbon.
More about UN climate talks, cop25, Compromise, carbon markets, Greenhouse gas emissions
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