• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:27 am

An impasse is not an option

  • Published at 11:55 pm December 14th, 2019
Climate change-COP25
Photo: REUTERS

The Madrid negotiations must reach a more fruitful conclusion

It is deeply regrettable that the discussions at this year’s Conference of Parties have come to an unexpected deadlock, owing mostly to a difference of opinion between the richest polluting nations and poor developing countries, which are at the barrel end of climate change.

The main goal of COP25 has been to finalize the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate accord, which enjoins nations to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius. The draft Madrid agreement under negotiation, which must be approved by consensus, lays out two options.

The first simply repeats language in the 2015 treaty -- and it is hardly surprising that this option is favoured by nations reluctant to enhance their targets in the short term, including the US, India, China, and Saudi Arabia.

However, more than 80 poor and climate-vulnerable nations, backed by the European Union, are insisting on a stronger commitment from all.

With the world finally starting to realize the exact magnitude of the climate change problem, for the richer countries to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that the last few years of protests and calls for change never happened is, simply put, unacceptable.

The majority of people stand to lose the most because of the overt and rapid industrialization of a few handful of nations.

If we wish to tackle climate change head-on, the Madrid negotiations must reach a more fruitful conclusion -- one that considers the future of our planet.

Climate change is not an issue that can be left to linger at an impasse.