Madrid Talks Fizzle
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Sunday September 20, 2019 – Madrid Talks Fizzle – For the last two weeks UN climate negotiations have been going on in Madrid to try and create more ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions. After negotiations extended into Sunday the talks closed accomplishing essentially nothing.
This set of negotiations was hosted by Chile who dubbed it "Time for Action". Unfortunately violent anti government protests erupted in Chile and the conference had to be moved to Madrid at the last minute.
With global greenhouse gas emissions setting a new record high this year the hope was that there would be concrete moves toward reducing emissions but what we ended up with was a statement to set more ambitious targets with nothing concrete on how this was supposed to be accomplished. They also agreed on the need to help poorer countries mitigate the effects of global warming but did not come up with any additional funds to do this.
It didn't help that the USA are pulling out of the Paris accord and only sent a low level delegation. They were still instrumental in getting a decision on funding, to help those poorer countries impacted by natural disasters, differed until next year's meeting in Glasgow.
The biggest failure was the attempt to set up a process for the regulation on carbon markets. This would be a major step forward in reducing carbon emissions but unfortunately we once again saw countries put short term gains ahead of the long term health of this planet.
Many placed the blame on the weak draft agreement prepared by the host, Chile. These provisions were opposed by some of the major fossil fuel producers such Saudi Arabia and Russia, but were also opposed by other nations including Brazil and Australia. Brazil for example insisted that carbon sinks like the Amazon rain forest be included in their carbon cutting targets.
We are currently on track for an increase of 3 - 4 degrees centigrade by the end of the century and scientists are telling us that we need to cap warming at 1.5 - 2 degrees centigrade to avoid the worst impacts of increased global temperature. The results of this years climate conference have made it just that much harder to be able to meet the caps to prevent global catastrophe. To give an idea of the possible impact consider that the global temperature difference between the last ice age and the present was just 5 degrees centigrade.
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