After two weeks of negotiations in Poland, officials from almost 200 countries reunited at an United Nations meeting agreed Saturday on universal, transparent rules that will govern efforts to cut emissions and curb global warming.
Negotiators delayed decisions on two key issues until next year in an effort to get a deal on them. The talks in Poland took place against a backdrop of growing concern among scientists that global warming on Earth is proceeding faster than governments are responding to it. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change requires ban on fossil fuel to maintain global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The oil-exporting nations of the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait blocked an endorsement of the IPCC report. Among the key achievements in Katowice was an agreement on how countries should report their greenhouses gas emissions and the efforts they’re taking to reduce them.
Participants at the conference in Poland
“The majority of the rulebook for the Paris Agreement has been created, which is something to be thankful for,” said Mohamed Adow, a climate policy expert. a decision on the mechanics of an emissions trading system was postponed to next year’s meeting. Countries also agreed to consider the issue of raising ambitions at a U.N. summit in New York next September. The text of the agreement in Katowice calls for all nations to submit final reports by 2024 assessing the progress they’re making on cutting emissions.