Discussion on the new UN climate report

BERLIN (AP) – Talks between scientists and governments on a key UN climate report were moving to a head on Sunday as chief emerging economists insisted it would recognize their right to development.

The latest report from the UN-backed science body Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change aims to show the world the ways in which the world can stay within the temperature range agreed upon in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century. But with temperatures already 1.1 centigrade higher than the pre-industrial baseline, many experts say this is only possible through a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The closed-door meeting was scheduled to end on Friday so that the report could be presented to the public on Monday.

However, a number of observers, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the proceedings, told The Associated Press that the talks were still under way less than 24 hours before the publication deadline.

A senior climate scientist said about 70% of the text had agreed so far and still hoped the discussion could end on Sunday.

India has emerged as a key voice for recognition in the report that developing countries have already contributed a very small fraction of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere compared to industrialized countries and therefore do not need to make the same steep cuts. India, which is heavily dependent on coal, also wants significantly more financial assistance to help poorer countries cope with climate change and transform into a low-carbon economy.

Others, such as oil exporter Saudi Arabia, argue that fossil fuels will still be needed for decades and that removing them too quickly could hurt the world’s poorest.

The text discussion is a summary for policy makers that will serve as the basis for official discussions at international climate meetings such as the upcoming UN summit in Egypt this autumn. The underlying science report outlining the world’s progress in reducing emissions is out of the question, but cannot be published until the summary is agreed upon.

An earlier installment last year warned that the rapid climate change seen in recent decades is man-made and some effects of global warming are already inevitable. Last month, the science panel outlined how further warming would increase the risk of global floods, storms, droughts and heat waves.

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(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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