Negotiators work through the night to salvage U.N. climate summit

Negotiators work through the night to salvage U.N. climate summit

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres expressed disappointment with the outcome of the talks.

MADRID (AP) - Marathon U.N. climate talks ended Sunday with a slim compromise that sparked widespread disappointment, after major polluters resisted calls for ramping up efforts to keep global warming at bay and negotiators postponed debate about rules for worldwide carbon markets for another year.

This was despite organisers adding two more days to the 12 days of scheduled talks in Madrid.

Despite COP25's mixed results, there were plenty of signs of flourishing grassroots activity against climate change around the two-week conference in Madrid.

As U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned that the world would be "doomed" unless big emitters step up commitments, Australia's energy minister Angus Taylor said targets alone can not address climate change, no matter how ambitious.

A later draft published by Chile did contain language acknowledging the need for greater ambition, observers said.

The final declaration cited an "urgent need" to cut planet-heating greenhouse gases in line with the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord.

"If world leaders fail to increase ambition in the lead up to next year's climate summit in Glasgow, they will make the task of meeting the Paris Agreement's well below 2C temperature limitation goal - much less the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal - nearly impossible".

In that respect, he recalled the call of scientits to be carbon neutral by 2050 and 'that the planet's temperature should not increase in more than 1.5 degrees Celsius'.

The rift between a growing climate vanguard and a handful of countries obstructing progress meant countries failed to finalise the rules of the Paris Agreement at talks that finished on Sunday.

Disputes broke out over the rules that should govern global carbon trading, favoured by wealthier countries to reduce the cost of cutting emissions.

"Folks from all around the world are listening to us since they're already suffering the effects, we cannot neglect them", she insisted.

Delegates have postponed a decision on global carbon markets which put a price on the emission of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

"This is a disastrous, profoundly distressing outcome - the worst I have ever seen", said Mohamed Adow, the director of Power Shift Africa, a climate and energy thinktank.

Senior European officials, including ministers from Spain, Germany and the EU's top climate official, Frans Timmermans, were engaged in last-minute negotiations to prevent the talks from collapsing.

Extinction Rebellion, a grass-root environment activist group, staged protest in Madrid, coinciding with the closing of the COP25 summit, at the Spanish capital.

Chile chaired the talks, which had to be moved to Madrid amid violent anti-Government protests back home.

Countries also agreed to designate funds for the most vulnerable countries to compensate them for the effects of extreme weather events, one of the most pressing issues for small island states. Economists say allowing companies and rich countries to invest in carbon-cutting measures such as forest protection in poor countries could become a vital tool for lowering emissions, provided the markets are transparent and there is no double counting. "We can not accept another agreement where support to developing countries remains merely a wishful possibility", Mattias Saderberg, head of ACT Alliance's delegation to the climate talks, said.

The UN climate change conference was locked in a stalemate over a number of technical issues relating to finance, loss and damage, and mechanism of a new carbon trading market, even as it went into an extra day on Saturday. The draft text, lacking a definite direction on many points (be it "ambition", carrying over existing credits in carbon market or per-2020 actions), also attracted a lot flak from civil society groups who called it "disastrous and disappointing" and said it can not be acceptable.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government insists that Australia will meet a pledge to cut emissions by at least 26% "at a canter" by 2030 versus 2005 levels.

"The global emissions' curve needs to bend in 2020", said Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin. "Achieving this is possible - with existing technologies and within our current economy". The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.

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