United Nations climate talks in Poland go into overtime

Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal

Deal on Paris Agreement reached at crucial climate summit

Michal Kurtyka, a Polish official chairing the talks in Katowice, gaveled the deal Saturday after diplomats and ministers from nearly 200 countries approved.

Some observers predicted the talks would likely continue into Saturday in an effort to secure a deal this year and maintain confidence in the multi-step global process.

The agreed "Katowice Climate Package" is created to operationalise the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement.

Ministers at the COP24 talks must agree on a common rule book to make good on promises they made in the landmark 2015 Paris accord, which vowed to limit global temperature rises to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists say emissions of greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide need to drop sharply by 2030 to prevent potentially catastrophic global warming.

The first report must be submitted by the end of 2024.

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The report highlighted the need to slash carbon pollution by almost half before 2030 in order to hit the 1.5C target.

Four nations - the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait - blocked a proposal for nations to "welcome" the IPCC report as a basis of future climate action.

Earlier, the former president of the Maldives, and now their lead negotiator, Mohamed Nasheed, made an impassioned plea for urgent progress on cutting carbon."It's just madness for us to allow global CO2 levels (in the atmosphere) to go beyond 450 parts per million, and temperatures to shoot past 1.5 degrees", he told a press briefing on Thursday. "We will not reopen negotiations on issues where we have already reached agreement".

Another issue haunting negotiators is the rules for an worldwide market in carbon credits. But it's less clear on how a pledge of €90 billion to poorer countries will be financed - or on how a carbon credit scheme might work.

"If you have buyers and sellers in a carbon trading scheme, you want to be sure that those emissions reductions don't get counted twice", said David Waskow, director of the World Resources Institute's Climate Change Initiative.

Under the rulebook, the participating countries shall update their voluntary goals of carbon emission reduction by 2020 with the pledges by the countries reviewed at a United Nations climate summit to be held in September 2019.

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"Katowice has shown once more the resilience of the Paris Agreement - our solid roadmap for climate action", said Patricia Espinosa, who heads the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and who was speaking on behalf of António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General.

Brazil's delegation rejected the claim.

Brazil was initially slated to host the talks under but far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro pushed the Brazilian government to withdraw its offer to host conference.

"The guidelines that delegations have been working on day and night are balanced and clearly reflect how responsibilities are distributed amongst the world's nations", said Ms. Espinosa in a press statement.

This provision is created to help nations cope with deadly heatwaves, drought and floods - amplified by climate change - happening today.

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