Negotiators worked into the early hours of Sunday trying to salvage a strong global commitment to fight climate change after some of the most vulnerable nations said they were being sidelined at a marathon U.N. summit in Madrid.
Talks were scheduled to conclude on Friday but lurched into a second extra day as major economies and smaller states struggled to resolve outstanding issues under the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle global warming.
Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea’s climate envoy, told delegates the talks had to be “open and transparent,” echoing concerns expressed by some other developing countries that their voices were not being heard.
“Over the last 24 hours, 90% of the participants have not been involved in this process,” Conrad said.
Carolina Schmidt, a Chilean minister presiding over the two-week annual gathering, appealed to the more than 190 countries in the Paris accord to come together to send a clear signal of support ahead of a crucial implementation phase in 2020.
“We are almost there. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but it’s worth it,” Schmidt told participants, many of whom had barely slept during the grueling final phase.