DOHA, QATAR: The United Nations global warming talks have continued past their deadline as negotiators bickered over the content of climate action plans that countries should unveil in the run-up to a key summit in Paris next year.
The annual UN climate meetings rarely close on time and the two-week session in Lima was no exception as disputes that arose in the opening days remained unresolved by Friday’s scheduled close of the conference.
Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark, reporting from the meeting, said the talks had not been officially extended but had just continued on.
“The British are saying it’s going to finish at four o’clock in the morning. The Chinese say it will be at some point tomorrow night,” he said.
“The conference president said there has to be a text on the table at 10.30pm tonight,” Clark added.
One of the most problematic issues in Lima was getting the more than 190 countries participating to agree on what information should go into the pledges that governments are supposed to put on the table for a global climate pact expected to be adopted a year from now in the French capital.
Latin American countries came under criticism for their plans to drastically increase oil production.
Several influential Latin American nations in the negotiations for a new global treaty to reduce heat-trapping gases have significant plans to increase production and use of fossil fuels, seen as the main culprit of global warming.
Brazil is going full speed with investments in areas off its coast that could hold up to 35bn barrels of oil.
Peru, which is hosting the talks and has the presidency of the climate negotiating process, is currently debating whether to exempt some oil companies from environmental impact assessments with the aim of speeding up exploration projects.
Though negotiating tactics always play a role, virtually all disputes in the UN talks reflect the wider issue of how to divide the burden of fixing the planetary warming that scientists say results from human activity, primarily the burning of oil, coal and natural gas.
During his brief stop in Lima on Thursday, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said fixing the problem was “everyone’s responsibility, because it’s the net amount of carbon that matters, not each country’s share’.”
Meanwhile, top carbon polluter China and other major developing countries opposed plans for a review process so the pledges can be compared against one another before Paris.
Their reluctance angered some delegates from countries on the frontlines of climate change.
“We are shocked that some of our colleagues would want to avoid a process to hold their proposed targets up to the light,” said Tony de Brum, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, a Pacific nation of low-lying atolls at risk of being flooded by rising seas.