Environmental groups are criticizing new draft agreements presented at a United Nations (UN) climate summit, saying they won’t do enough to combat the threats of climate change as participating countries fail to come to a consensus.
Vanessa Perez-Cirera, the head of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) delegation to the conference, which is being held in Madrid, on Saturday called the latest draft “weak” and “shocking.”
“The extremely weak draft decision text made available this morning is shocking, especially in regards to climate ambition. We are in a climate crisis – references to enhancing climate pledges…. in 2020 are desperately needed in this draft text and they have been virtually eliminated,” she said, according to the WWF. “This version of the draft text is unacceptable.”
It was also criticized by Alden Meyer, a policy and strategy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“I’ve been attending these climate negotiations since they first started in 1991, but never have I seen the almost total disconnection we’ve seen here … in Madrid between what the science requires and the people of the world demand, and what the climate negotiators are delivering,” Meyer told The Associated Press.
“The planet is on fire and our window of escape is getting harder and harder to reach the longer we fail to act,” he added.
Mohamed Adow, the director of climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa, told Reuters that “at a time when scientists are queuing up to warn about terrifying consequences if emissions keep rising, and school children are taking to the streets in their millions, what we have here in Madrid is a betrayal of people across the world.”
Many countries, including the European Union and small island nations, have called for countries to pledge for more ambitious emissions cuts next year, according to Reuters. Larger economies such as China, India, Japan, Brazil and Australia resisted such commitments.
The deadlock has caused the meeting, which was supposed to end Friday, to extend into the weekend.
The summit comes after the U.S. began its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate last month; however, the State Department said that it “will continue to participate in ongoing climate change negotiations and meetings — such as COP25 — to ensure a level playing field that protects U.S. interests.”