Chilean Environment Minister and President of COP25 Carolina Schmidt announced that negotiators failed to reach a deal on the Paris climate accord after two weeks of negotiations. Photo by ZIPI/EPA-EFE
Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Climate negotiators failed to reach a deal on implementing the Paris climate accord at the annual United Nations climate summit, amid the looming threat of the United States departing the deal.
Chile's Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt emerged to declare no deal had been reached after U.N. delegates negotiated for two weeks, breaking the record for the longest climate convention.
"Regretfully, after all the hard work that you have all done we couldn't get to an agreement on this important article," Schmidt, who presided over the summit, said.
The discussions in Madrid focused on technical issues with the 2015 climate agreement, including regulating carbon markets but the United States' impending departure cast a shadow of the proceedings.
The United States isn't "helping," former French environment minister Laurence Tubiana said. "Waiting for the U.S. election, This type of thing, which is really pretty stupid ... creates an impact of 'wait and see.'"
The United States cannot officially withdraw from the agreement until Nov. 4, 2020, a day after the election but President Donald Trump has strongly opposed the deal throughout his presidency, while also dismissing the threat of climate change.
With the United States distancing itself from the deal, other nations including China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia strengthened their push to have more industrialized economies bear more of the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gasses.
"We're in a very politically difficult time right now where we've got one key world leader denying climate change, so it's very hard to get other countries to move forward when you've got such a critical country playing a spoiling role," Ian Fry, a delegate from Tuvalu said. "That's the state of the state of the world we're in at the moment."