MADRID: Drawn-out international climate talks ended in Madrid on Sunday without an agreement on how to regulate global carbon trading.
Participants put off a decision on the matter to a later year, following discussions at the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP25, which closed on the 14th day after a two-day extension.
The envisioned regulations would be part of the rules to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement for greenhouse gas emission cuts from 2020. The postponement, however, is unlikely to cause much direct impact because most of the implementation rules have been fixed.
In the carbon trading, countries that help others reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be allowed to count the reduced amounts as their own emission cuts.
The thorny point was how to tackle the problem of double counting of the reduced amounts by both sides. Brazil and India strongly opposed the proposed introduction of rules to prevent double counting.
Meanwhile, COP25 documents included a request for a boost to national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets with highest possible ambition in 2020.
This is not binding, but failure to take any action is likely to draw severe criticism. Japan will need to decide what to do with its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 pct from the fiscal 2013 levels by fiscal 2030.
Over the carbon trading rules, Japan tried to mediate between opponents, including Brazil and India, and proponents, particularly the European Union.
But this time, "the gap was too wide," a Japanese official said. "The negotiations were very tough with little room for a compromise."
Over the Paris accord, international cooperation has been disrupted since the United States declared its withdrawal from the pact.
In the COP25 talks, some countries pressed their own interests, rocking the foundation of the Paris deal, which covers both developing and developed countries.
The COP26 talks will take place in Glasgow, Britain, in 2020.