The pressure is on. Negotiators for some 200 countries at the UN climate summit in Scotland enter the final hours of talks on Friday, with a mandate to ensure the world can still prevent more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
At the moment, national pledges to slash emissions fall far short of that goal and there is little hope that new promises will magically appear in the final day of talks.
The agreement may address that gap with language requiring countries to cough up new and improved pledges within a year. Such a provision could allow the conference’s UK organizers to declare victory in the mission to “keep 1.5 alive. But getting that language into the text could face resistance from holdouts.
Other sticking points remain, ranging from whether and how rich countries should pay poor ones for “loss and damage” from climate-driven disasters, and whether global carbon markets should be taxed by less developed countries to help fund their adaptation to a warmer world.
Any and all of these issues could trigger posturing announcements from stakeholders eager to have their way when a final deal is done.
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