MADRID — A tense round of international negotiations over the future of global action on climate change proceeded Saturday, as some countries continued to resist language in an agreement that calls for more aggressive actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The United Nations meeting known as COP25 is now in overtime as the future of the 2015 Paris climate agreement hangs in the balance. But meeting organizers say a final agreement may be imminent.
“We don’t foresee any suspension,” Andrés Landerretche, the COP25 presidency coordinator, said at a Saturday press conference. “We look forward to finishing our work today, perhaps early in the night.”
Landerretche didn’t say who was holding up the negotiations, but said that “the vast majority of delegations are asking for more ambitious text.”
The negotiations over the past two weeks are meant to finalize the Paris rulebook, a series of regulations that countries would use to meet their targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris agreement. The talks were also aimed at getting more countries to agree to higher goals.
But the same key issues that were left unresolved during the last round of negotiations in Katowice, Poland, in 2018 remain under debate in the current bargaining session. And it’s unclear whether countries will stay at the table until they reach an accord, or if they will walk away without an agreement.
“The overall assessment is, this is not a good situation,” Seyni Nafo, the former chair of the African Group of Negotiators on climate change, told reporters on Friday. “Not having a decision on some of those issues might be better than having a bad decision.”
One big hurdle is the set of rules around creating an international carbon market under Article 6 of the Paris agreement. Most countries agreed on the guidelines, and negotiators have been reluctant to name the holdouts. But on Friday, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Costa Rica’s minister for energy and environment, called out the United States, Brazil, and Australia as the parties thwarting closure on the issue.