Sharma called for countries to seize this moment to avoid failure in the talks. He stated that negotiations had “reach a critical point where we must come together”.
He said to negotiators, “The world is watching us” urging them to “reach a deal here for the sake and for the future generations.”
Tensions resulted from late-night marathon discussions in which slow progress was made. However, it was not enough for Sharma to announce an agreement just 18 hours after Sharma’s 6 pm local time deadline on Friday.
An agreement requires all 197 parties to reach consensus on every word of the final text. It is a difficult task that involves compromises and honest discussions about the world’s power structures and who has been most responsible for the current climate crisis.
Saturday morning, the UN published a third draft. It did not include any reference to ending subsidies for fossil fuels and phasing away coal.
The draft urges countries and other countries to accelerate the use of clean energy generation while it eliminates coal power and “inefficient fuel subsidies”. It recognizes that the world must support a “just transition” by providing money to support jobs, and livelihoods, as it moves away from fossil fuels. Both of these additions leave the text open to interpretation more than the original.
A section calling on parties updating their emission-reduction plan by the end next year was retained. This would mean that countries could make new pledges three years sooner than required under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Many countries object to this new timeline, claiming that it attempts to establish new rules for the 2015 Paris Agreement.
There are also differences over language and how much the Earth should warm.
The most contentious issue was whether wealthy countries in the developed world should be required to set up a dedicated “loss-and-damage” fund to help poorer countries deal with climate crisis impacts. This implicitly acknowledges the large role of wealthy nations in causing the crisis.
The issue has pitted the developed world and the developing world against one another, a characteristic that is typical of COP Conferences.
Many developing countries are unhappy about the draft text. It refers to a possible fund for loss or damage but focuses more upon creating a “dialogue”, which could delay a fund’s establishment.
A Guinean delegate representing a group comprising 77 nations, including China, stated that the group could accept the current text.
“However the group expresses its profound disappointment …. over a dialogue regarding loss and damage. He said that this is far from the concrete core of loss and damage facility that the group formed to find an answer in Glasgow.
“But in the spirit compromise, we’ll accept this paragraph. It does not reflect nor prejudice the inner key vocal outcome we seek on financing loss and damage to reach those most vulnerable.
Tasneem Essop is the executive director of Climate Action Network. He stated that the most recent draft text was a “clear travesty by rich countries” to poor and fragile countries.
Essop stated that “rich countries have once more demonstrated their total lack of solidarity and responsibility to help those who are most affected by climate change,” blocking progress on a dedicated facility. “We urge the developing countries to stand up against bullies and act in the best interest of their citizens.
CNN was told by a source familiar about the talks that the European Union was opposed to the establishment of a fund for loss and damages. A senior US official stated Thursday that the country did not support the creation such a fund. CNN was also told by a source close to the talks that the US was preventing progress on the fund.
A spokesperson for the EU declined confirmation of the bloc’s position but pointed to comments made by Frans Timmermans, the chief climate policy officer, earlier Friday. He stated that loss and destruction “is a key component of our conversation” as well as that it was time to “move and find the solutions” to the climate crisis that was causing so much damage to vulnerable nations.
Major coal, oil, and gas producers are opposing an article calling for the phasing-out of unabated coke and the end to fossil fuel subsidies.
CNN was told by a source familiar with the negotiations that while the Australian delegation was generally quiet in talks, it was blocking progress regarding language around coal and measures to update its emissions plans before the end of 2022. A spokesperson for Australia declined to comment.