United Nations climate talks ran into extra time on Saturday with little sign of a breakthrough, as negotiations remain hung up on key issues including funds for the loss and damage suffered by poorer vulnerable countries hit by extreme weather.
Officials from country delegations arrived at the sprawling conference zone, now mostly empty, for another day of negotiations.
New Zealand's climate minister said a draft of the final document circulated by the presidency “has been received quite poorly by pretty much everybody.”
James Shaw called the draft “entirely unsatisfactory."
He added that the proposal “abandons really any hope of achieving 1.5 degrees," referring to the warming limit agreed at the Paris agreement back in 2015.
And he said parties will continue to work on the issue as well as look to reach a consensus on a loss and damage fund for developing nations who are suffering from the impacts of climate change.
“Everybody wants an outcome on loss and damage and everybody wants to keep 1.5 alive. So that’s what we’re going to keep doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Germany's foreign minister said that responsibility for the fat of the U.N. climate talks “now lies in the hands of the Egyptian COP presidency.”
Annalena Baerbock said the European Union had made clear overnight that “we will not sign a paper here that diverges significantly from the 1.5 C path, that would bury the goal of 1.5 degrees.”
“If these climate conferences set us back then we wouldn’t have needed to travel here in the first place,” she said.
And Spain’s environment minister said her delegation is willing to walk out if a fair deal at the U.N. climate talks can't be reached.
“We could be exiting of course,” said Teresa Ribera. “We won’t be part of a result that we find unfair and not effective to address the problem that we are handling, which is climate change and the need to reduce emissions.”
Ribera said she is “concerned” that a draft of the final document may not include a mention of the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit target set in Paris in 2015.
She added she didn’t want to see a result “that may backtrack what we already did in Glasgow,” referring to the renewed commitment to the 1.5 C goal at the climate summit last year.
On the role of the presidency, Ribera said that the process has been “very confusing.” “It is not clear and we are running out of time,” she said.
In a news conference on Saturday morning, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said parties must now “rise to the occasion.”
“The issue now rests with the will of the parties,” Shoukry said. “It is the parties who must rise to the occasion and take upon themselves the responsibility of finding the areas of convergence and moving forward.”
On a new draft text for the overarching decision at the conference, which was being worked on overnight, Shoukry said that “a vast majority of the parties indicated to me that they considered the text as balanced and that they constitute a potential breakthrough that can lead to consensus.”
He added that “all must show the necessary flexibility” in reaching a consensus, and that Egypt was merely “facilitating this process.”