Paris Agreement: Countries inch towards a deal

Michal Kurtyka who led climate talks in Katowice Poland shows his relief as an agreement is reached after marathon negotiations

Representatives from almost 200 nations are locked in negotiations in Poland over how to make good on the promises they made in the landmark 2015 Paris agreement aimed at limiting global temperature rises. The likelihood of a deal increased on Friday after a new text was released.

Among the highlights of this COP, two major industries - the sports and the fashion worlds - joined the movement to align their business practices with the goals of the Paris Agreement, through the launch of the Sports for Climate Action Framework, and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

Countries participating in the United Nations climate talks have agreed on a set of rules that will enable them to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The meeting postponed decisions on pledging more ambitious action to fight global warming and on regulating the market for worldwide carbon emissions trading.

Before the talks started, many expected that the deal would not be as robust as is needed as the unity which underpinned the Paris talks has fragmented and one of the world's biggest emitters, the United States, still intends to leave the pact when it can formally do so in 2020.

Facing down the existential threat of climate change also means "making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development" across the entire global economy, the Paris Agreement says.

But the latest drafts offer little comfort to those countries that also want rich industrial nations to pay for damage already caused by global warming, arguing that they're to blame for most of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases humans have pumped into the atmosphere.

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that it is possible to cap global warming at 1.5C (2.7F) higher by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times.

Deal on Paris Agreement reached at crucial climate summit
The still technically in the Paris agreement until 2020, which is why American officials participated in the Katowice talks.

"We find the ambivalence of countries in these negotiations unacceptable".

Alarmed by efforts to include this in the final text of the meeting, the oil-exporting nations of the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait blocked an endorsement of the IPCC report mid-way through this month's talks.

A senior negotiator said that Brazil had concerns about some of the rules for governing global carbon credit schemes.

The package also includes guidelines that relate to the process for establishing new targets on finance from 2025 onwards to follow-on from the current target of mobilizing 100 billion USA dollars per year from 2020 to support developing countries.

We will all have to give in order to gain.

The run-up to Katowice saw a new round of pledges, including €1.5 billion (S$2.33 billion) from Germany and €500 million from Norway for the Green Climate Fund.

Mohamed Adow, a climate expert at Christian Aid, said the discussions on financial support seemed to be moving in the right direction, though the overall outcome of the talks was uncertain.

Germany's environment minister said the failure to curb climate change would cost the world a lot more than the trillions Trump claims that he's saving.

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