After a final, all-night negotiating session at this year's global climate talks, delegates expresses satisfaction Saturday at the progress made toward creating a comprehensive rule book for fighting global warming.
The two-week meeting in Bonn, Germany, was billed as a "blue-collar" event designed to hammer out the technical details of the 2015 Paris climate accord. But fears had loomed large beforehand that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who rejects the Paris agreement, would seek to block any advances seen as counter to American interests.
In the end, most agreed that U.S. diplomats had engaged constructively, while delegations from several American states, cities and businesses were praised for committing themselves to the goals of the Paris agreement.
"There has been positive momentum all around us," said Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who presided over the meeting and swung the gavel to close it about 7 a.m.
"We leave Bonn having notched up some notable achievements," Bainimarama said, citing agreements on agriculture, ocean protection, indigenous people's rights and the launch of a new system to help people in poor countries get insurance against the effects of climate change.
Many countries are already feeling the heat that is enveloping the globe, with dramatic floods, hurricanes and droughts across the world in recent months adding a sense of urgency to the talks.
Environmental groups expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the negotiations, while noting there's much still to do and little time left to ensure the Paris accord's goal of keeping global warming significantly below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is met.
Experts say worldwide average temperatures have already risen 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times, largely due to carbon emissions from the United States and Europe over the past century.
"The conference gets a grade of 'meets expectations,'" said Andrew Deutz of The Nature Conservancy, an Arlington-based environmental group. "We are still headed in the right direction, but since the U.S. took its foot off the accelerator, the risk of global climate action slowing down has increased."
U.S. diplomat Judith Garber, speaking at the talks Thursday, reiterated Trump's position that the United States will leave the Paris accord but added that "we remain open to the possibility of rejoining at a later date under terms more favorable to the American people."
The conciliatory tone coming from U.S. diplomats was at odds with the more combative position taken by White House adviser George David Banks, who raised eyebrows by hosting a pro-coal event during the talks.
"Having already abandoned its leadership role on climate, the Trump administration appears to be living in an alternate universe with its focus on fossil fuels," said Paula Caballero, who heads the climate program of the Washington-based World Resources Institute.
Caballero noted that the leaders of U.S. states, cities and businesses — who came to Bonn separately from the White House and State Department delegations — earned widespread approval for pledging to honor the Paris accord.
Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki said conference was positive, as Ankara's concerns and demands were conveyed during the bilateral talks and some suggestions were offered to Turkey to enable it to benefit from the fund.
"Our expectation from the [Paris climate] accord is that countries that have similar economic growth rates should have access to the same opportunities and take similar responsibilities."
"We (Turkey) have taken essential steps for energy efficiency and prepared the Energy Efficiency Road Map," Özhaseki said. He added that Turkey has also accelerated its efforts in renewable energy.
Turkey signed the U.N. Paris Agreement along with 171 countries to manage the threats posed by climate change.
The Bonn meeting was a stepping stone toward next year's talks in Katowice, Poland, where key decisions will have to be made, including on finalizing the Paris rulebook and raising countries' national ambitions for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.