Carolina Schmidt, U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) President, attends a plenary session during the ongoing climate negotiations, which have reached a deadlock, in Madrid, Spain December 15, 2019 (REUTERS/Nacho Doce Nacho Doce/Reuters)

COP25, the annual UN climate talks in Madrid, concluded in failure after running over by two days due to a record-breaking delay.

What Happened?

The talks ended in a stalemate as countries squabbled over rules for a new global carbon trading market.

However, a small compromise was reached, although it sparked widespread disappointment after major polluters resisted calls for ramping up efforts to keep global warming at bay and negotiators postponed debates about rules for international carbon markets for another year.

Wait! There’s More

The conference, in its concluding draft, endorsed only a declaration on the ‘urgent need’ to close the gap between existing emissions pledges and the temperature goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement – an outcome UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called disappointing.

Negotiators barely mustered enthusiasm for the compromise they had patched together while raising grievances about the issues that remain unresolved.

Invigorated by the U.S. withdrawal and rising nationalism at home, Brazil, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, defended loopholes and opposed commitments to enhance climate action.

Other big emitters such as China and India insisted on the delivery of finance and support promised by rich countries before 2020 as a precondition to any discussion on enhancing their current targets.

In all, the COP25 provided what was widely denounced as one of the worst outcomes in a quarter-century of climate negotiations.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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