Longest UN climate talks end with no deal on carbon markets.

After getting the longest ever extension in the history of annual UN climate conferences, two weeks of talks ended on a disappointing note on Sunday with all key issues — rules on carbon markets, ‘ambition’ and long-term finance — being pushed to the next round of talks in Glasgow in 2020.

Though some progress was made in terms of putting certain references on ‘ambition’ to bridge the emission gap by next year through a ‘compromised’ and diluted text to have consensus, negotiators from 197 countries failed to frame rules for the much awaited carbon markets as no agreement was reached on contentious issues such as the fate of old credits and measures to avoid double-counting.


Issues of longterm finance (predictable and adequate) too saw a sharp divide during negotiations at the climate talks which went over 43 hours beyond the official deadline. It eventually forced the COP25 presidency to move the issue to next year’s talks.

The final declaration called on the “urgency of enhanced ambition” by all countries to cut greenhouse gases in line with the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord. There was, however, a strong view during the negotiations that there should not be a talk only on mitigation ambition without firming up ambition on finance which has been a responsibility of rich nations.

The unsatisfactory outcome was reflected in the remarks of COP25 president Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s environment minister. “Article 6 (carbon market) would have contributed to help us move forward. It is sad to not to have reached a final agreement. We were so very close,” she said in her closing speech.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who had tried to bring countries on an ambitious path of higher targets through a summit in New York two months ahead of COP25, too expressed disappointment. “I am disappointed with the results of COP25. The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis,” he said.

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