United Nation climate talks a ‘lost opportunity’: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
A fortnight of COP25 talks just squeezed out compromises that were hard-earned from nations is needed to tackle the climate crisis.
“I am disappointed with the results of COP25,” Guterres said. “The international community lost a significant opportunity to show greater ambition on mitigation, adaptation and fund to tackle the climate crisis.” The summit’s final declaration”expresses the urgent need” for carbon cutting responsibilities to close the gap between current emissions as well as the Paris treaty purpose of capping temperature at under two levels, host country Spain said.
However, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, Tina Eonemto Stege, denounced for confronting an existential threat of rising sea levels, the response insufficient.
“Regrettably, the new text we adopted this morning doesn’t reflect anything near what we would have wanted. It is the bare minimum and we regret that countries couldn’t agree on a more ambitious text,” Stege said.
After a year of deadly weather and protests by millions of people, Madrid negotiators were to send a clear signal that authorities were ready to double down.
The summit — moved from Chile due to unrest at the last minute — occasionally teetered on the verge of collapse as polluters powerhouses and countries groped in the face of competing interests for common ground.
“Based on the adopted text, there is a glimmer of hope that the heart of the Paris Agreement is still beating,” Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift, stated.
“But its pulse is very weak.”
Negotiators from nearly 200 countries came to Spain’s capital with the aim of finalising the rulebook for the 2015 Paris accord, which enjoins nations to limit global temperature to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).
‘Missing in action’
With the accord set to become operational next year, it was hoped storms and wildfires , irrefutable science, and COP 25 would show the world that protests would move authorities that indicated 2019 to redouble their efforts. But increased ambition — just how far each country is willing help peers to do likewise or to slash carbon emissions — has failed to materialise, leaving some veteran observers aghast.
“Never have I seen such a disconnect between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are providing in terms of meaningful action,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a 28-year veteran of the climate process. “Most of the world’s biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to elevate their ambition.”
The push for voluntary carbon cutting strategies is led by small-island and least-developed states, along with the European Union. These have called out countries they see as blocking consensus — especially Australia, the United States and Saudi Arabia.
China and India, the world’s No. 1 and No. 4 carbon emitters, made it clear they see no need to improve in their current emissions reduction programs, which operate to 2030. These giants chose instead to emphasise the responsibility of wealthy nations supply funding to countries and to lead the way.
“But thanks to a progressive alliance of small island nations, African American, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, contrary to the will of big polluters.”