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Monday, June 21, 2021

Climate talks go into overtime as rich, poor countries spar; Qatar’s role criticized

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Barring a meeting of the minds last night, COP18 climate change talks have been extended another day, as delegates began a new session of negotiations this morning at 7:30am.

But whether any groundbreaking agreements on combatting global warming will be made remains to be seen, AP reports:

“The deal in Doha is a recipe for disaster. The deal in Doha is a coffin for the planet,” said Michael Dorsey, a professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, speaking outside the negotiations.

“We will see the failure to have emission targets sufficiently high enough. We are going to see the failure to move critical resources to countries on the margin in the developing world who desperately need resources to get out ahead of the unfolding climate catastrophe that is playing out around the planet.”

Others were more optimistic, with the Guardian reporting that the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty that outlines by how much countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, is “on the verge of being rescued.”

But financing has been a key sticking point during the talks over the past two weeks, according to Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark: 

“The United States and the bigger states don’t want to make concessions for poorer states.” 

Three years ago, developed countries pledged to up climate change aid to poorer nations to $100 billion annually by 2020 — but when asked by island and African nations during these talks, did not produce a timetable or ideas for how that money will be raised.

Qatar’s role

Disappointment over Qatar’s failure to make a non-binding pledge to reduce its own emissions and the country’s inability as host to get nations to agree on a deal also circulated.

The Guardian reports:

Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director at the green campaigning group Natural Resources Defence Capital, said: “There’s a cultural mismatch between the Qatari team and this process. They think deal-making is beneath them. They are not managing very well.”

One delegate accused the Qataris of going home early on Thursday instead of working through the night on the draft texts, which hosts are expected to do.

This morning, however, Qatar continued to push for an agreement to be met:

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Watch the remarks made during the morning’s informal plenary session here. Talks will resume after a short break.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of COP18 on Twitter

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