Extreme night session in Madrid: UN climate conference threatens to fail

              Saturday, December 14, 2019

              Can the world stop the emerging climate catastrophe? Negotiations stall at the UN conference in Madrid. The final declaration planned for Friday evening is overdue. Negotiations continue throughout the night.
              Everything went very quickly in Brussels, negotiations in Madrid stalled: While the EU countries were already able to agree on binding targets for climate neutrality by 2050, the 25th UN climate conference ("COP25") to end in a diplomatic debacle. A final declaration was originally scheduled for Friday evening at 6 p.m. With the joint declaration as the highlight, the entire UN conference should have ended after two weeks. However, observers say the talks have stalled. Negotiations continued early on Saturday morning. An end is not yet in sight, it was said. Even hours after the official end of the conference, the negotiators were still struggling for market mechanisms, climate finance and a promise of higher climate protection goals. The final statements are expected in the coming hours, it was said in the early morning. However, it could take longer for the delegates to appear in front of the press. "Anything else would be a sensation" The political director of the environmental and development organization Germanwatch, Christoph Bals, said on Friday evening that the negotiators could well take a short break agreed not to have to negotiate all night. In this case, his assessment for the end of the conference was: "Anything that would be before Saturday afternoon would be a sensation." Bals has participated in all UN climate conferences at the COP level so far. There are sticking points this time on a whole series of topics: The design of Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement is particularly controversial. It also plans to use market mechanisms to increase and implement national climate protection contributions, the so-called NDCs. A country like Germany, for example, could finance a solar power plant in an African country to reduce the use of fossil fuels and have this emission savings offset against its NDC. A few countries like Brazil and Australia insist that pollution rights acquired under the Kyoto protocol under the Paris Agreement continues to apply. Regulations are also being struggled to avoid double counting of climate protection efforts and to establish social and human rights standards for the projects covered by Article 6. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze had already ruled out failure to draft Article 6 on Friday morning. Green billions for climate change The Paris Agreement has already entered into force, but its provisions will not officially apply until 2020. However, the industrialized countries had agreed to step up their efforts to protect the climate beforehand. Developing countries criticize that hardly anything has happened and that some countries, such as Germany, have missed their 2020 target. Climate finance is also being fought for in Madrid. Since the demand from developing countries to set up a separate fund for the compensation of climate-related damage and loss (loss and damage) currently has no chance of implementation, there is discussion about opening the Green Climate Fund to this aspect. However, there is no additional funding available.Australia, Brazil and the USA as a brake.Another central negotiating point is the question of how the so-called umbrella decision of the conference addresses the need for all countries to raise their climate protection targets in order to implement the Paris Agreement. The issue of climate protection is not officially on the agenda in Madrid. The states of the Paris Agreement will not have to present their new climate protection commitments until next year at the UN climate conference in Glasgow. In view of the progressive and increasingly noticeable global warming, environmental associations and activists – for example from the Fridays for Future movement with Greta Thunberg – are pressing for the climate targets to be raised significantly now, or at least for 2020 to be firmly promised important signal welcomed. The EU agreement was a "very important decision," said Federal Environment Minister Schulze in Madrid. She underlined that Poland was the only country that did not join the decision, but "did not delay it". EU Commission Vice-Frans Timmermans said in Madrid that he hoped the EU decision on climate neutrality would "many of our partners in." follow the world ". In order to implement the target for 2050, the EU must "act now". "Fight for our present" Michael Schäfer from WWF Germany also praised the decision. "Now, however, it is time to roll up our sleeves and tackle it: The actual work, the implementation of this goal through concrete intermediate steps and consistent climate protection measures, is due in the next six months," he warned in Madrid. "The member states must start this conversion immediately," said Greenpeace managing director Martin Kaiser. "This is a late but important signal that the EU wants to become a locomotive for the implementation of the Paris climate agreement," confirmed Germanwatch managing director Bals. The climate envoy of the Marshall Islands, Tina Stege, said that the UN Climate conference no longer just about a fight for the future, but about "a fight for our present". Costa Rica's environment minister Carlos Manuel Rodríguez named the United States, which initiated its exit from the Paris Agreement, as the brake on the negotiations alongside Australia and Brazil.

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