Climate negotiators reach watered-down deal at COP25 | News | DW | 15.12.2019

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Climate negotiators reach watered-down deal at COP25

The climate talks stretched into record overtime before negotiators managed to seal a vague agreement in a last-ditch effort. Activists were hoping for a bolder approach to curbing climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Negotiators at the UN climate summit in Madrid agreed Sunday to a deal aimed at averting a global warming disaster, though the deal pushed key decisions to a future date.

The marathon talks went into overtime, extending more than 36 hours past the expected conclusion and making COP25 the longest UN climate conference to date.

The final agreement was far from the bold call to action that climate protection proponents had hoped for. Many of the delegates expressed disappointment over the outcome of the conference.

Read more: COP25: Why are high-emission countries lagging on climate protection?

What happened?

  • The final draft acknowledged the "significant gap" between existing pledges and temperature goals set forth in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
  • Countries failed to establish market rules for trading carbon credits, considered one of the most contentious issues at the conference.
  • Another big miss was figuring out how to fund poorer countries to mitigate damage caused by climate change.
  • The final agreement urged all 200 participant countries to honor climate targets and make progress towards them over the next year.

Read more: COP25: When it comes to climate protection, Germany still has a lot to do

Crisis on the horizon

Scientists have pointed to abnormal extreme weather phenomena as partial evidence of the man-made destabilization of Earth's climate system.

Under the 2015 Paris accord, countries agreed to take measures to prevent global temperatures from reaching 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

Activists have argued that governments need to do more to reduce greenhouse emissions, citing the potential for irreversible conditions.

Read more: COP25: Who are the biggest climate winners and losers?

ls/cmb (Reuters, AFP)

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