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United Nations Climate Conference COP25 Update

Written by Team SD

9th December 2019

Madrid is hosting two-week, United Nations-sponsored talks aimed at streamlining the rules on global carbon markets and agreeing on how poor countries should be compensated for destruction largely caused by emissions from rich nations.

An official directly involved in the negotiations said that despite a few setbacks, the technical negotiations were progressing, although many issues were being left for ministerial-level meetings in the summit’s second and final week.

COP25 continues with the negotiations left from last year’s COP24 where many disagreed on the rules of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Article 6 holds the potential to make or break the Paris Agreement, especially in the section that authorizes international emissions trading (Section 6.2) which envisions government-to-government trades, by which one country could meet its reduction target in part by paying another country to make extra reductions beyond its own target.

The stakes are higher in COP-25, where negotiators try to reach an agreement, in which countries most vulnerable to climate change, including low-lying island states and least developed countries, are pressing for strong rules to ensure environmental integrity, as opposed of countries (big polluters) that have already surpassed Kyoto targets and desperately need (carbon) credits for their economies.

The official, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the discussions, added that a political declaration on greater “ambition” a buzzword at the summit was shaping to be “difficult to achieve.”

“A summit that doesn’t end with enhanced ambition would be something that nobody would understand if we take into account what the streets and science are telling us,” the official said.

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