During my time at COP, my main priority was not to follow the negotiations. This was mostly because I was interested in going to many of the side events, and they pertained more directly to my interests. I did follow along with the negotiations from outside. The topic of the negotiations at COP25 was to solidify the rulebook for the Paris Agreement, which will go into effect next year. Many of the negotiations centered around Article 6, which establishes Carbon trading markets. The other major topic of negotiations was loss and damage. This is meant to provide support to developing countries vulnerable to Climate Change.
On both of these fronts, the parties failed to come to any major agreements. For loss and damage, the lack of progress was blamed on wealthy countries such as the US, Australia and Japan who are also large emitters. Countries like were unwilling to commit money to support developing countries that are vulnerable. This was widely criticized within the negotiations and from the outside.
During the second week of COP, there were huge protests because of the inaction of developed countries on loss and damages. The protestors’ message was essentially that developed countries needed to step up to support those that are suffering the consequences of of years of unconfined emissions.
These sorts of protests was a consistency throughout the two weeks of COP. There were many youth-led protests over the fact that developed countries were not doing enough for the negotiations. It seems that young people are often frustrated by the process of the negotiations and the impression that nothing is getting done. Hopefully the press around these protests will influence the willingness of countries to commit through action and money.
Since the parties delayed many of the intended decisions, many of topics are simply being pushed off until next year. This is certainly a disappointing outcome. For now, we will have to wait and see just how much they will get done at COP 25.