A major study on how to limit global warming could be dropped from formal UN climate talks in Bonn this week after a “gentlemen’s agreement” was made under pressure from Saudi Arabia.
Last December four large oil producers, Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia, refused to endorse the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which shows what the world could look like under 1.5C of warming.
The report was commissioned by the UN after the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
Now, with UN talks set to continue this week in Germany, Saudi Arabia still objects to the study being part of formal climate negotiations.
The talks are intended to “[raise] ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate resilience-building efforts, and ensure that climate policy is built on a solid foundation of the best available science and knowledge” in the light of the Paris accord, according to the UN.
“If countries are not able to agree on welcoming the report’s findings or doing anything with them, it’s awkward,” Carl Schleussner, head of climate science at the NGO Climate Analytics told Climate Home News.
A “gentlemen’s agreement” was believed to have been made before the meeting, meaning there could not be dedicated space for country representatives to discuss the key findings.
This means that discussions will finish next Wednesday even if no agreement has been reached.