The Trump Administration's refusal to "welcome" the results of a major scientific report on climate change is seen as a sticking point at the COP24 climate change talks in Poland, which are still in overtime without resolution.
Officials on have today released a new draft of a contentious statement that has hung like a cloud over these negotiations.
At issue is a report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which says drastic cuts to fossil fuel and other carbon pollution are needed in order to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. The new draft text “welcomes the timely completion” of that report. That is an “elegant compromise” that stops short of the endorsement that the European Union and small-island countries had wanted; and also acknowledges the fact that the United States does not endorse the report, said Camilla Born, senior policy advisor at E3G, an environmental policy think tank. “They're welcoming the fact that they’re doing it on time. I read that bit as a recognition of (the report) – but it doesn’t make any political judgement on its value,” she said.
It remains unclear how countries will react to the language, she said.
Negotiators from around the world have been in closed-door meetings this morning and overnight on Friday.
Debate about whether to “welcome” or simply “note” the findings of that report have stalled negotiations and flared emotions, observers say.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia last weekend refused to “welcome” the findings of the report, stunning some delates from other countries that consider climate change an urgent threat.
Brazil also is a "hard-liner" in the talks over how credits for pollution reduction are handled, according to a senior negotiator in the closed-door meetings. "It looks like they are going to push this to the limits," the source said.
Brazil's request could be viewed as an effort to double-count pollution reduction efforts, according to the senior negotiator.
That single issue -- but likely not the entire rule-making effort -- could be pushed out of the discussions here and into talks next year, observers said.
Read more about the IPCC report here