But there was no diplomatic consensus on even that. The final declaration was notable for what counts as exceptionally weak diplomatic language: It cited only an “urgent need” to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
China and India joined the United States in pushing back against more emphatic language that calls on countries to enhance their climate-action targets in 2020. The European Union joined many poor, vulnerable countries in calls to be more ambitious, though it remained unclear when the bloc, which is one of history’s biggest polluters, would update its own targets.
State Department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The outcome was also notable in that it followed a surge in street demonstrations this year, often led by young people, highlighting the deep fissures between the demands of ordinary citizens and their governments.
One of the most contentious issues kicked down the road was a set of rules on carbon trading, which would allow countries and companies to trade on emissions reductions. Australia and Brazil were among the countries that insisted on measures widely viewed as loopholes, including the ability to carry over credits earned under an old trading system. Others considered that unacceptable.
Some environmental advocates saw a silver lining there. No deal on carbon trading was better than a bad deal, they said.
The United States, the only country in the world retreating from the Paris accord, stuck to its longstanding position on compensating countries that are pummeled
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