After two weeks of talks, climate delegates couldn’t commit to urgent action.
The UN Climate Summit (COP25) ended this Sunday in Madrid with a modest agreement, postponing until next year a key decision on global carbon markets.
During the talks, governments were reminded continually that the world is far off meeting the pledge made in Paris to hold global heating to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, regarded by scientists as the outer limit of safety.
Strong public and political pressure will be needed, participants acknowledged, as these talks were characterized by squabbling over technical details. Brazil, Australia, the US, China, and other major emitters were all accused of holding up progress.
Small island states stressed that the climate crisis was happening now, with sea level rises, fiercer storms, floods and droughts already causing devastation.
Climate change activists staged a 500,000-strong march through the Spanish capital. Greta Thunberg said the last year of protests had “achieved nothing” as countries were still failing to bring forward the measures needed.
Research published during the two weeks of talks showed that greenhouse gas emissions have risen 4% since the Paris accord was signed in 2015, and the world will need to cut carbon by more than 7% a year in the next decade.
Source: The Guardian.