Summit head Chile says "no excuses" if climate talks fail

by Reuters
Thursday, 12 December 2019 13:08 GMT

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg is seen behind young climate activists on stage at the High-Level event on Climate Emergency during the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Image Caption and Rights Information

Delegates are locked in disputes over how carbon markets should work, what finances are available for vulnerable nations, and when emissions targets should be made more ambitious

(Adds quotes, background)

By Valerie Volcovici

MADRID, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The Chilean president of a U.N. climate summit told bickering governments on Thursday there could be no justification for failure to reach new agreements on fighting global warming in the final stretch of the talks in Madrid.

Delegates are locked in disputes over how carbon markets should work, what finances are available for vulnerable nations, and when targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse emissions should be made more ambitious.

"There cannot be any excuses for not reaching agreement," Carolina Schmidt told the two-week annual negotiations, which are due to conclude on Friday. "I call on you to work together to be able to give a positive response tomorrow."

The event, aimed at bolstering the Paris pact to avert catastrophic global warming, was moved to Spain after protests in Chile.

As Schmidt urged concrete results, countries most vulnerable to climate change said they feared they were being forced to concede too much.

"We are appalled at the state of negotiations. At this stage we are being cornered," said Tyrone Hall, policy advisor to the Alliance of Small Island States, a bloc of low-lying countries.

"We fear having to concede on too many issues that would damage the very integrity of the Paris Agreement," he told Reuters. (Reporting by Matthew Green and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Catherine Evans and Andrew Cawthorne)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.