After two weeks of crunch negotiations – with overtime – the almost 200 parties gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the United Nations COP24 two-week climate change conference, adopted on Saturday a “robust” set of implementing guidelines for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at keeping global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.
The deal saw delegates agree on a “common rulebook for all countries” that aims to “make the Paris [Agreement] operational in 2020,” BBC News reports.
Adding that the regulations aim to “govern the nuts and bolts of how countries cut carbon, provide finance to poorer nations and ensure that everyone is doing what they say they are doing.” But, “last-minute rows over carbon markets threatened to derail the two-week summit – and delayed it by a day.”
A story in the Guardian offers more details on the delay, which it says was caused by a “row over carbon credits”. “These credits count towards countries’ emissions-cutting targets,” the Guardian says.
“Brazil, which hopes to benefit from its large rainforest cover, insisted on a new form of wording that critics said would allow double counting of credits, undermining the integrity of the system.”
This issue has been put off until next year.
A second story in the Guardian says the talks lacked the “drama, excitement and eventual breakthrough that marked the Paris Agreement of 2015” but did provide “important steps forward in putting” it into practice.
The deal “allows flexibility for poorer nations, which claim they suffer greater impacts of rising temperatures triggered by more developed countries.”
The pact “also calls on richer countries to be clearer about the aid they intend to offer to help poorer nations install more clean energy or build resilience against natural disasters,” the New York Times says.
The Financial Times reports that the deal has been “hailed as a success”. “I think that on balance the outcome is fantastic,” Teresa Ribera, environment minister for Spain, tells the FT.
“We have all created something which seems to be very difficult – almost 200 countries agreeing on such a detailed rulebook with so many technical decisions.”
Vox reports how a deal was forged “despite Trump”, which “leaves the door open for the US to rejoin”.
Politico reports that the deal is an “elegant compromise”, while Associated Press reports the deal provides “reasons to be thankful for”.
However, much of the coverage leads on criticisms of the deal reached by delegates.
Scientists have warned that the deal is “inadequate” and “lacks urgency”. That it could “fail to halt the devastating rise in global temperature”, the Guardian reports.
Some environmental groups called the deal “morally unacceptable.”
Jennifer Morgan, executive director at Greenpeace International, told The Independent:
“A year of climate disasters and a dire warning from the world’s top scientists should have led to so much more. Instead, governments let people down again as they ignored the science and the plight of the vulnerable. People expected action and that is what governments did not deliver. This is morally unacceptable.”