MARATHON climate talks finally ended yesterday with negotiators postponing a key decision on global carbon markets until next year.
Delegates from almost 200 nations passed declarations calling for greater ambition in cutting greenhouse gases and in helping poor countries suffering the effects of global warming.
However, despite two days being added to the scheduled 12 for the UN talks in Madrid, they left one of the thorniest issues unresolved — prompting accusations that rich nations ‘need to wake up in 2020’.
Divisions over the future of carbon markets meant the issue was put back until the Glasgow summit in a year’s time. Environmental groups accused richer countries of showing little commitment to seriously tackling climate change.
‘They are on the wrong side of this struggle, the wrong side of history,’ said Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan.
The summit, chaired by Chile, agreed to carbon-cutting plans required under the 2015 Paris Agreement and on funds for vulnerable countries.
Activists and indigenous groups staged protests throughout the talks. Helen Mountford, of the World Resources Institute think tank, accused leaders of being ‘disconnected from the urgency of the science and the demands of their citizens in the streets’.