Poor countries have accused a handful of richer nations of holding up progress on tackling the climate crisis at UN talks in Madrid, as demonstrators and activists vented their frustration in the final hours of two weeks of negotiations.
The talks dragged on to what looked set to be a late final night with no guarantee of an agreed outcome, as governments wrangled over the details of a seemingly arcane issue:carbon markets, governed by a provision of the 2015 Paris agreement known as article 6.
Brazil, India and China were singled out as acting to block agreement on article 6, as ministers from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) warned that their countries would suffer most if there was no decision.
Simon Stiell, Grenada’s environment minister, speaking for AOSIS, urged all parties to reach a compromise.“Our countries will be rendered uninsurable if we breach 1.5C warming,” he said.
There was a widespread view among delegates that Brazil was refusing to compromise on article 6 as a means of holding up implementation of the Paris accord.Brazil’s rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro, is hostile to the Paris agreement, and is accused of paving the way for devastating fires set by ranchers in the Amazon, but the government is still officially a party to the UN talks.
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