Representatives from 200 governments around the world agreed to a standardized set of rules with which the Paris emissions targets will be monitored over the weekend. The deal was hammered out after two weeks of intense negotiations, and at more than one point it appeared as though the talks might collapse.
A dramatic stage was set for these latest climate talks in Katowice, Poland – situated right in the middle of Europe’s coal-burning heartland. One source of tension was a damning IPCC report released two months ago, which warned that urgent action was required to keep warming at below 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels – the more ambitious end of the Paris agreements 1.5-2C target range. Another was the marked lack of any concerted US involvement in steering the overall negotiating process. And though the delegates managed to create a final consensus despite these challenges, as is often the case with multilateral climate negotiations, the most intractable issues have been punted to future gatherings.