Delegates from around the world gathered in Madrid to finalise the “rulebook” underpinning the climate ambitions reached under the Paris Agreement 2015, but failed to reach a consensus.
The crucial argument, debated by the 27,000 delegates in Spain, revolved around Article 6 of the Paris accord, aimed at setting rules for carbon markets and other forms of international cooperation.
But delegates could not agree on various elements of Article 6. Hundreds of bracketed sections of unresolved text remain, which will need to be signed off at an inter-sessional meeting in June and at COP26 in Glasgow in November next year.
Brazil, India and China were accused of actively blocking ambitious outcomes in Article 6 discussions,by smaller nations.
Brazil wanted to double count previous emissions cuts, something other delegates such as the EU could not accept.
Reporting requirements for transparency and “common timeframes” for climate pledges were also pushed back until the next COP, at a time when countries are also due to raise their climate pledge ambitions known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
As it stands, just 80 countries – primarily, small and developing nations – have stated their intention to enhance their NDCs by 2020, representing just 10.5% of world emissions, according to the World Resources Institute NDC tracker.
Although delegates spent an extra two days trying to hammer out a deal the UN secretary general António Guterres said he was “disappointed” with the COP’s results.