After resistance from about a half-dozen major and great powers, a United Nations-led climate summit closed without a major agreement to limit emissions.
The talks were held in Madrid, Spain, and were dubbed COP25. Discussions were viewed as a test of countries’ collective will for more aggressive cuts to so-called ‘greenhouse gasses’ in a bid to close the gap between promises of cuts and lower temperature goals established during the 2015 Paris climate pact.
The U.S., Brazil, China, Australia, and Saudi Arabia led the resistance to a new pact, delegates told Reuters.
At a midnight session on Saturday, Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s environment minister, who served as president of the talks, appealed for consensus.
“I request all your strength to get an ambitious agreement. I count on you to reach consensus,” she said.
Other officials also appealed for countries to sign onto a new agreement but there wasn’t much enthusiasm for new measures.
Talks became mired in disagreements over rules regarding international carbon trading. In this area, Australia and Brazil were among the main holdouts according to delegates.
As such, delegates decided to defer any big actions on climate markets until a later date.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a tweet he was “disappointed with the results of #COP25.”
He added that the summit outcome, in his view, meant that “the international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation & finance to tackle the climate crisis.”
At the same time, a counter summit hosted by the conservative Heartland Institute was talking place in Madrid as well, which organizers said aimed to counter the climate change emergency narrative.
“We are here to present a dose of reality and sound science, as opposed to much what we hear from the United Nations,” said James Taylor, Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.