Negotiations to finalize a key UN report on how to avert climate change ended more than two days late on Sunday after a dispute over how to describe financial needs, participants told AFP.
Two weeks of virtual talks have been contentious from the start as nearly 200 nations grapple with tough decisions on how to quickly remove carbon pollution from their economies and become carbon neutral by mid-century.
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to be released on Monday, will detail how societies and industries need to rethink to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst effects of a warming planet .
But with sweeping changes required – and huge investments at stake – the stakes are high politically.
“Everyone has something to lose and everyone has something to gain,” said another participant who oversaw the process.
Nations have been commissioned to produce line by line a high-level “Summary for Policymakers” distilling the thousands of pages of the IPCC’s underlying assessment.
When talks resumed on Sunday, only 50 percent of the text had been approved, and by late evening all sticking points had been resolved.
“A final reading and investigation will take place on Monday morning,” tweeted Belgian scientist Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a delegate from Belgium.
A source close to the talks previously told AFP that the delays were due to hints about the funding.
The United States is balking at data showing how much developing countries need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature targets, while China wants the numbers prominently included, he said.
While these detailed estimates are likely to remain in the IPCC’s main report, the US and other wealthy nations wanted them removed from the summary so important to policymakers.
Some studies have found that developing countries have to spend trillions a year, many times the current investment.
“These numbers are very politically relevant. The report says it is possible to limit warming to 1.5C and halve emissions by 2030,” the source said.
“But you can’t say that without saying how much money it takes to implement these solutions.”
The closed-door negotiations over how to implement the IPCC’s findings have stumbled over how and how quickly the fossil fuels that are driving global warming must be phased out.
They were also hesitant about the role of technology that captures CO2 as it is emitted or extracts it from the air.
Nikki Reisch of the Center for International Environmental Law said “political pressure” is trying to “obscure the undeniable reality” that warming will reach catastrophic proportions unless the shift away from fossil fuels is accelerated immediately.
UN publishes handbook for solutions to climate change
© 2022 AFP
citation: UN talks on climate solutions extend two days (2022, April 4) retrieved April 4, 2022
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https://phys.org/news/2022-04-climate-solutions-days-overtime.html The UN talks on climate solutions have been extended by two days