OFFICIALS at this year’s UN climate summit plan to propose a compromise to bridge differences between countries in deadlock.

With the meeting already into extra time, draft documents presented overnight failed to achieve a consensus.

Observers and environmental groups warned that they risked undoing or stalling commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

One of the key issues causing gridlock is member nations refusing to use human rights and gender equality terms in decisions made at the summit.

On Saturday, Chilean diplomat Andres Landerretche told reporters that a fresh compromise would be circulated but insisted that there would have to be trade-offs if there was to be a deal supported by all countries.

“It’s impossible to have a consensus outcome if you don’t compromise,” he said.

The National: Vulnerable environments such as the Himalayas are being damaged by reluctance to changeVulnerable environments such as the Himalayas are being damaged by reluctance to change

Asked whether some decisions might be postponed until next year, Landerretche said: “We don’t foresee any suspension. We are working with a view toward finishing our work today.”

But observers said there were still huge obstacles to overcome.

“I’ve been attending these climate negotiations since they first started in 1991, but never have I seen the almost total disconnection we’ve seen here in Madrid between what the science requires and the people of the world demand, and what the climate negotiators are delivering,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The union was founded 50 years ago by scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and aims to “use rigorous, independent science to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.”

Meyer said the current drafts did not reflect urgent warnings from scientists that greenhouse emissions need to fall sharply, and soon.

“The planet is on fire and our window of escape is getting harder and harder to reach the longer we fail to act,” Meyer said.

A UN report released recently claimed that we have less than 12 years to mitigate the worst effects of the climate emergency.

Growing concern about the climate crisis has been reflected in mass protests around the world over the past year, often by young activists concerned about the future they and their children might face as the planet heats up.

Demonstrations took place inside and outside the venue of the talks in the Spanish capital, with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg one of the most prominent voices calling for urgent action to curb emissions.

Senior European officials, including ministers from Spain and Germany, and the EU’s top climate official Frans Timmermans, were engaged in last-minute negotiations to prevent the talks from collapsing.

Critics have claimed that major economies are resistant to the significant change needed for successful climate action, and that less developed countries are paying the price.

Among the countries holding out against helping developing countries and setting lower emissions targets is the United States, which under President Donald Trump has announced it is pulling out of the Paris accord.

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