Nations agree on global climate pact rules, but they are seen as weak – by Nina Chestney, Bate Felix, Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters Canada – December 15, 2018)

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KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Nearly 200 countries overcame political divisions late on Saturday to agree on rules for implementing a landmark global climate deal, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the dangerous effects of global warming.

After two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice, nations finally reached consensus on a more detailed framework for the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in average world temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

“It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical. Through this package you have made a thousand little steps forward together. You can feel proud,” Polish president of the talks Michal Kurtyka told delegates. After he struck the gavel to signal agreement had been reached, ministers joined him on the stage, hugging and laughing in signs of relief after the marathon talks.

Before the talks started, many expected the deal would not be as robust as needed. The unity which underpinned the Paris talks has fragmented, and U.S. President Donald Trump intends to pull his country – one of the world’s biggest emitters – out of the pact.

At the 11th hour, ministers managed to break a deadlock between Brazil and other countries over the accounting rules for the monitoring of carbon credits, deferring the bulk of that discussion to next year, but missing an opportunity to send a signal to businesses to speed up their actions.

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