Climate change: Longest talks end with compromise deal

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Kiara Worth/IISD

The longest UN climate talks on record have finally ended in Madrid with a compromise deal.Exhausted delegates reached agreement on the key question of increasing the global response to curbing carbon. All countries will need to put new climate pledges on the table by the time of the next major conference in Glasgow next year. Divisions over other questions including carbon markets were delayed until the next gathering. After two extra days and nights of negotiations, delegates finally agreed a deal that will see new, improved carbon cutting plans on the table by the time of the Glasgow conference next year. All parties will need to address the gap between what the science says is necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, and the current state of play which would see the world go past this threshold in the 2030s.

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Kiara Worth/IISD

Supported by the EU and small island states, the push for higher ambition was opposed by a range of countries including the US, Brazil, India and China.However a compromise was agreed with the richer nations having to show that they have kept their promises on climate change in the years before 2020.”The result of this COP25 is really a mixed bag, and a far cry from what science tells us is needed,” said Laurence Tubiana, from the European Climate Foundation and an architect of the Paris agreement.”Major players who needed to deliver in Madrid did not live up to expectations, but thanks to a progressive alliance of small island states, European, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, against the will of big polluters.”Decisions on other issues including the thorny question of carbon markets have been delayed until Glasgow. This aspect of the deal was welcomed by campaigners.”Thankfully the weak rules on a market based mechanism, promoted by Brazil and Australia, that would have undermined efforts to reduce emissions has been shelved and the fight on that can continue next year at COP26 in Glasgow,” said Mohamed Adow, with the group Power Shift Africa.Many of those in attendance were unhappy with the overall package, feeling it doesn’t reflect the urgency of the science. But negotiators will be satisfied to have kept the process alive after these difficult and complex talks in Madrid.

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