Progress and problems as UN climate change talks end with a deal
Nations agree on implementing 2015 Paris agreement, but put trickiest issues on back burner
Fiona Harvey <www.theguardian.com/profile/fiona-harvey> in Katowice
Sat 15 Dec 2018 22.43 GMTFirst published on Sat 15 Dec 2018 22.33 GMT
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The UN climate change talks ended late on Saturday night in Poland with a deal agreed on how to put the 2015 Paris agreement <www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/paris-climate-deal-cop-diplomacy-developing-united-nations> into action, but with other contentious problems left to be resolved next year.
Countries thrashed out the complex details of how to account for and record their greenhouse gas emissions, which will form the basis of a “rulebook” <www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/15/un-climate-change-talks-postpone-contentious-issues-with-draft-agreement> on putting the Paris goals into action. But difficult questions such as how to scale up existing commitments on cutting emissions, in line with stark scientific advice <www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/27/world-triple-efforts-climate-change-un-global-warming>, and how to provide finance for poor countries to do the same, were put off for future years.
In the final hours, agreement was held up by a debate over the market in carbon credits, awarded to countries for their emissions-cutting efforts and for their carbon sinks, such as forests, which absorb carbon dioxide.