KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Climate change talks billed as the most important U.N. conference since the 2015 Paris global warming deal are in their last week in Katowice, capital of Poland’s coal mining district.
Below is a look at the mood round the event, in a sprawl of temporary passageways and rooms next to the Spodek, a flying-saucer-shaped venue on the site of the former Katowice coal mine.
Officially the last day of the climate conference in the Polish city of Katowice. Ministers and negotiators are haggling over final details of the deal after the Polish presidency of the talks released drafts of the various components late on Thursday night and early on Friday.
Ministers are expected to gather for a plenary from 1500 GMT to try and work through the final details.
“It will continue through the day and may last into the night,” a South American delegate said.
Although some delegates said progress has been made on various issues, some concerns remain around climate change finance for developing countries, transparency in reporting emissions from major polluters and details around increasing ambitions by 2020 to curb national emissions.
“I think, we will make it in the end,” another delegate said, “Not everyone is satisfied yet. The president of the COP will hold bilateral in coming hours.”
As always at U.N. climate conferences, delegates, journalists and activists are betting on how far into the night the negotiations will go and when the gravel will come down on the talks.
Optimists see the conference ending in the early hours of Saturday. Pessimists see the talks dragging on until Sunday.
After two weeks of marathon talks, the last two nights have seen some delegates work through the night, with fatigue already taking a toll on flagging delegates.
Over a hundred activists from different countries staged another protests at the Katowice conference centre to protest what the said was a corporate takeover of the climate talks.
The protesters held banners which read: “Which side are you on?” and “Stand with the people, not the pollutters,” as conference delegates and negotiators walk by.
“Countries are failing to advance real solutions at UN climate talks, so the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice and grassroots leaders from around the world are convening on the final Friday of COP24 to hold a sit-in, demand climate justice, and ask people and countries, “which side are you on?”, a statement said.
(Reporting by Bate Felix, Nina Chestney and Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Larry King)