The Latest: Chile to host next year’s UN climate summit
KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — The Latest on the U.N. climate meeting (all times local):
Countries have agreed that Chile will host next year’s U.N. climate summit.
Delegates at this year’s talks in Poland agreed Friday that the South American nation will stage the meeting after Brazil dropped out. Costa Rica, which had been also been in the running, will host a preliminary event.
The venue for international climate talks rotates among regions and next year it’s the Latin American and Caribbean Group’s turn.
Brazil last month withdrew its offer to host the event citing “the current fiscal and budget constraints, which are expected to remain in the near future.”
A group of countries have appealed for an ambitious outcome at the U.N. climate talks that would pave the way to curb global warming and protect the world’s most vulnerable nations.
Ministers from 40 countries calling themselves a “High Ambition Coalition” at the talks in Katowice, Poland, on Friday made the appeal amid signs that the talks were not progressing as they had hoped.
They said delegates should support a scientific report calling for keeping global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) during this century and should agree on an ambitions rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
Some ministers said a few countries were hesitating on these points — suggesting they were the same oil-exporting countries that earlier did not want to “welcome” the report: the U.S., Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The executive director of Greenpeace International says the U.S. delegation to the U.N. climate talks is putting itself in the way as the rest of the world is taking efforts to forge an agreement on fighting global warming.
Jennifer Morgan, speaking on the last scheduled day of the U.N. climate talks, said Friday that U.S. envoys were “certainly protecting representing the interests of The United States.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has questioned the scientific views on the causes of climate change and has declared that the U.S. is pulling out of the 2015 Paris agreement that called on all countries to keep global warming in check.
She said the U.S. delegation was questioning the science on climate change in the latest text and was “completely out of step” with other participants at the talks. Morgan says “they shouldn’t put themselves in the way of the rest of the world.”
A group of small islands and countries particularly vulnerable to global warming are threatening to block agreement at U.N. climate talks unless their demands are met.
Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed told reporters Friday that the current draft agreement being discussed in Poland doesn’t reflect the reality faced by countries on the front line of climate change.
Nasheed said “we are deeply unhappy with the way the talks are going,” citing the lack of clear commitment to pursue the goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).
He said the Alliance of Small Island States he represents would “therefore (be) rebelling against extinction and if necessary we will rebel against the negotiations.”
Nasheed added that “we will not walk out, but we will veto.”
Costa Rica’s environment minister says the trade spat between the United States and China is playing a role at the U.N. climate talks.
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez told reporters in Katowice, Poland, on Friday that “socio-economic, political issues are reflected” in the talks, including the “trade issue between the U.S. and China.”
But he said countries concerned that taking action to curb global warming might harm their economies should consider that “it is in the self-interest of prosperity and economic growth.”
He added that “climate action won’t be a barrier for growth and trade,” citing his own country’s economic growth even as it cuts its use of fossil fuels.
Rodriguez said Costa Rica is not yet ready to commit to hosting next year’s talks, after Brazil pulled out. He noted the estimated cost of $100 million to organize the summit and said Costa Rica is discussing “a joint effort with Chile.”
Polish teenagers have staged an action at the venue of U.N. climate conference urging the negotiators on the last scheduled day of talks to reach an agreement on ways of fighting global warming.
More than 30 school students from Katowice, the Polish city where the talks are being held, responded Friday to a call by 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg for a “climate strike” to pressure politicians into greater ambition in fighting climate change.
They sang Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” and “They Don’t Care About Us” as they stood near where negotiators from almost 200 countries were trying to reach agreement on the fine print of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
One of them, 15-year-old Gosia Czachowska, said she responded to Thunberg’s call because “I care about the Earth ... and because I want to have a good future.”
After a long, hot summer that shriveled crops and left river levels unusually low, “hot age” has been chosen as Germany’s word of the year.
The Association for the German Language announced Friday that a jury chose “Heisszeit” — a play on “Eiszeit,” or “ice age” — for this year’s honor. It joins previous winners that include “postfaktisch,” a reference to the rise of “post-truth” politics, in 2016.
The group said that the expression reflects not just “an extreme summer that felt like it lasted from April until November” but also points to broader concern about climate change.
Germany says failure to curb climate change would cost the world “a lot more” than the trillions of dollars President Donald Trump’s claim he’s saving by quitting the 2015 Paris accord.
German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said Friday that “if we let entire stretches of this planet become uninhabitable then it will trigger gigantic costs.”
Trump said in an interview Thursday with Fox News that if he had remained in the Paris accord “we would be paying trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars for nothing, and I wouldn’t do that.”
The Paris accord requires countries to reduce their emissions, something scientists say will involve a wholesale shift in their economies. Rich countries have also committed themselves to providing financial support to poor nations to tackle global warming.
Schulze told reporters on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Poland that investing in developing technologies to protect the climate will give Germany “an enormous competitive advantage.”
Negotiators at the U.N. climate meeting in Poland are gathering to discuss the first comprehensive draft agreement to emerge after almost two weeks of talks.
Ministers and senior officials from almost 200 countries were due to hold further meetings Friday before convening in plenary in the afternoon to address remaining differences.
Among the key pitfalls to emerge overnight was the question of how to establish a functioning international market in carbon credits and whether some countries should get money for damage already caused by climate change.
The meeting is meant to finalize the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate agreement, provide assurances to poor nations on financial support for tackling global warming, and send a message that countries are committed to stepping up their efforts in the coming years.