U.N. climate summit grinds to a close after going into overtime

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:56s

U.N. climate summit grinds to a close after going into overtime

A handful of major states resisted pressure on Sunday (December 15) to ramp up efforts to combat global warming as a U.N.

Climate summit ground to a delayed close, prompting sharp criticism from smaller countries and environmental activists.

David Doyle reports.


U.N. climate summit grinds to a close after going into overtime

It was seen as an chance to show global willpower in tackling the climate crisis but a U.N.

Summit in Madrid limped to a close on Sunday with major economies snubbing the bold action scientists say is needed to tackle global warming.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZIL'S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, RICARDO SALLES, SAYING: "We are terribly sorry Madame Chair but we cannot accept this paragraph, thank you very much." Delegates pointed the finger at Brazil, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United States - some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters - for resisting calls to ramp up ambitions to cut emissions.

That meant that the conference closed with only a modest declaration on the quote "urgent need" to close the gap between existing pledges and the temperature goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Many climate-vulnerable countries and campaigners had wanted to see much more explicit language.

Closing the summit, which ran on for two extra days, Chile's environment minister Carolina Schmidt said the next generations expect more from them.


The world is watching and waiting for concrete and bigger solutions from us.

We are not satisfied.

The agreements reached by the parties are not enough to urgently confront the crisis of climate change.

Condemnation of the outcome in Madrid was swift.


Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres said the international community had lost an important opportunity.

While Ian Fry, representing the climate-vulnerable island nation Tuvalu said millions are already suffering the impacts of climate change and that to deny this could be interpreted as a crime against humanity.

Activist group Extinction Rebellion gave its verdict on Saturday - a big pile of horse manure.

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