U.N. Climate Talks Go Into Overtime

Edward VKanty

It was reported by BBC News today that climate talks lasted beyond the close of business on the final day of the talks designed to hammer out a final treaty to be signed into action in Paris next year. While the eternal division between the rich and the poor has created greater conflict in the climate talks negotiating process, John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, has urged negotiators not to let politics interfere with the urgency of coming to a resolution in the climate talks. He further warned that the planet is on a tragic course and that it may soon be too late to act in favor of changing the effects on the planet's climate.

After two full weeks of negotiations, the chairman of the climate talks created a new text in the hopes of getting a decision, but environmental lobbyists contend that the climate change document is far too weak to produce any positive results and leaves many climate issues unresolved with its ambiguous details.

The United Nations climate change convention, which began on December 1 and has been attended by negotiators from 195 countries, comes at the end of a summer that produced the hottest average global temperatures ever to have been recorded. One of the greatest issues facing the climate change talks is whether struggling, developing countries should be compelled to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Kerry denied the assertion that any country should have a "free pass" on the regulations established through the climate talks.

"I know this is difficult for developing nations. We have to remember that today more than half of emissions are coming from developing nations, so it is imperative that they act too."

A related climate change issue sparked debate with richer countries contesting the assertion that they should be compelled to provide financial assistance to poorer countries struggling to absorb the costs of the climate change resolutions, according to the Washington Post. Secretary of State Kerry urged delegates to the climate talks not to let monetary costs be the primary motivation for their positions, reminding representatives that fixing the urgent climate problem was everyone's responsibility and that the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere was the only cost that should concern the panel.

The president of the meeting, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal from Peru, told attendees of the climate talks that he would not leave Peru without a definitive resolution.

"We can deal with this problem and we can send a strong signal. Don't leave me alone, we can work together. It won't be me that thanks you, it will be the world."

Adding to the conflict at the climate talks, the Peruvian government has stated that members of Greenpeace, protesting the climate talks, have damaged the site around the Nazca Lines.