Canada’s new environment minister disappointed by results of UN talks

Canada's new environment minister disappointed by results of UN talks

MADRID — Canada’s new environment minister is expressing disappointment at Sunday’s lacklustre resolution of U.N. climate talks in Madrid.

Jonathan Wilkinson says his delegation is disappointed the world couldn’t agree on rules for international carbon markets.

The marathon talks stretched well beyond the planned Friday end date, as major polluters resisted calls to ramp up efforts to keep global warming at bay.

In the end, negotiators postponed debate about rules for international carbon markets for another year and endorsed a general call for greater efforts to tackle climate change and several measures to help poor countries respond and adapt to its impacts.

The final declaration cited an “urgent need” to cut planet-heating greenhouse gases in line with the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord.

But it fell short of explicitly demanding that countries submit bolder emissions proposals next year, which developing countries and environmentalists had demanded.

The Paris accord established a common goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century. So far, the world is on course for a 3- to 4-degree Celsius rise, with potentially dramatic consequences for many countries, including rising sea levels and fiercer storms.

Wilkinson wrote on Twitter that Canada will continue to work towards those targets, and noted that Canada has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2019.

—With files by The Associated Press.

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