From Uche Uche, Damaturu
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has denounced this year’s round of climate negotiations in Madrid as a lost opportunity after an overtime session ended with little progress on commitments to reduce emissions and no agreement on rules for international carbon trading.
United Nation Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres organized the UN climate action summit for world leaders in New York in September 2019. Countries are mandated by the Paris Agreement to submit revised nationally determined contributions plans by the following year, so the meeting is a chance for leaders to share their ideas.
At the summit, Guterres asked countries to submit plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
However, according to Council on foreign relations daily brief of December 16, 2019, major carbon emitters including China, India, and the United States pushed back against language in the conference resolution that would require more ambitious reductions targets, and the United States led a push against a decision on rich countries’ responsibility to compensate poor countries for climate-related losses.
A coalition of U.S. public officials and private sector representatives attended the summit, saying they remained committed to reducing emissions despite Washington’s upcoming withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“The negotiations fell far short of what was expected. Instead of leading the charge for more ambition, most of the large emitters were missing in action or obstructive,” Helen Mountford of the World Resources Institute told CNN.
“The diplomacy to build the confidence of the Chinas and the Indias that they can do more and they will be supported, through economic co-operation and that everyone else is moving in that direction, is incredibly important for changing the politics heading into next year,” Jennifer Tollman of the think tank E3G told the BBC.
Since 1992, when the United Nations recognized climate change as a serious issue, negotiations among countries have produced notable accords, including the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. But leaders have struggled to maintain momentum and failed to slow global temperature rise.