The 24th gathering of the Conference to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded on the 15th of December in a deal which will extend the Paris Agreement first signed in 2016. The agreement has come under increasing threat as the United States, under President Trump, have threatened to leave the agreement, China has led a wave of opposition demanding softer reporting rules for developing countries, and little concrete action has been taken to advance the goals set in the 2016 pact. At the 24th gathering, however, the gathered representatives of nearly 200 nations, however, reached a tenuous consensus following an all-night debate which will ensure the agreement survives and set new targets for the group’s next meeting in 2020.

This pact paves the way for a uniform set of standards for measuring emissions and tracking policies and sets stronger guidelines for the aid richer countries will provide help poorer nations enact systemic reforms and infrastructure overhauls necessary to reach the climate targets. However, the contentious politics at the heart of these debates between the nations kept the gathering from truly making strides towards climate reform. One such compromise was the failure of a proposed endorsement of the recently published report by the United Nations’ IPCC panel on climate change which set a timeline for catastrophic climate disruptions were emissions to not be reduced by 50% within 12 years. Additionally, the political climates of many nations, including several EU members, are expected to hinder the national discussions on climate policies now necessary to realize the targets agreed upon among the COP24’s attendees.

Read reporting on the conference and their deal at the NY TimesRead reporting on the conference and their deal at the NY Times

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