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USA, Brazil, Japan and Australia slowed down climate protectors

Question and answer: what the results of the climate conference mean

The past five years have been the warmest in measurement history. The CO2 concentration in the earth's atmosphere is at a record level. The consequences of human-made global warming are already having a massive impact. Knowing all this, almost 200 countries committed themselves four years ago to restricting the temperature rise to as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial values. In a report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the efforts made so far are nowhere near enough.

Question: What should be achieved at the 25th World Climate Conference in Madrid?

Answer: The 200 or so signatory states actually wanted to specify how exactly the Paris climate targets could be translated into reality. In particular, the details of the implementation of global trade in emissions certificates (Article 6) should be formulated. The issue of double counting and the question of whether "old" climate protection measures dating from the time of the Kyoto Protocol could be transferred to the "Paris bill" remained controversial. Large parts of civil society and science expected much more from the summit: the climate crisis should be treated as an emergency and corresponding demands should be directed to national politicians.

Question: And what results did you get in the end?

Answer: Even after two weeks of negotiations, it was not possible to agree on a mechanism for global emissions trading. At least rhetorically on the credit side are payment commitments for the adaptation fund. The fact that the countries will have to sharpen their national climate targets by 2020 can only be found vaguely in the final declaration - they are "encouraged" to do so.

Question: Does this mean that scientists' worst fears come true?

Answer: In any case, your dramatic warnings met with little success. From a fivefold increase in the effort that the UN considers necessary to achieve the 1.5 degree target, it is also miles away from Madrid. Some countries that want to go particularly ambitiously give hope. 398 cities have also declared that they want to become "climate neutral" by 2050. Last but not least, the specifications of the Paris Climate Convention are only guidelines. No country in the world will be prevented from taking stronger measures.

Question: What's next now?

Answer: In a few months, further negotiations are to take place at an interim summit on the basis of the text proposals that have now been drawn up. The Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt assumes that a "basis without double counting" has been created for this. The next climate conference with political decisions will take place in Glasgow in November 2020 - possibly in a UK that is no longer part of the EU. (Nora Laufer, Karin Riss, December 16, 2019)

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