Madrid Climate Summit Ends Without Key Steps to Curb Greenhouse Gases

The Madrid climate summit ended Friday without significantly improving the 2016 Paris Agreement for reducing greenhouse gases around the world.

The members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change had been asked to present more-ambitious targets for lowering emissions, but no mechanisms for increasing economic pressure to achieve this goal were agreed on.

The member states have now been tasked with presenting long-term plans for the climate summit 11 months from now in Glasgow, Scotland. In Madrid, officials recognized the importance of the emissions reductions already in place in a number of industries and cities.

The final decisions were agreed on after complex negotiations led by the Spanish minister for ecological transition, Teresa Ribera. She said the climate summit is no longer an event only for deciding on rules; demands are being made for more industries to be involved.

The main attempt in Madrid was to create a mechanism for reducing carbon use, but a decision was postponed until the summit in Glasgow. Many countries blamed Australia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia for the failure.
Another key issue was financing for reducing emissions, especially for the damage caused to developing countries largely by developed countries.

Developing countries had hoped for a system helping them deal with the crisis, but the summit decided that the international fund for managing the climate crisis would include budgets targeting developing countries.

There were some clear successes, though not the fruit of decisions by the 200 signatories to the convention, but mainly the result of regional and local initiatives.