Climate change

Marathon UN climate talks sputter to a close but avoid collapse

A man sleeps during UN climate talks
A man sleeps during marathon talks at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Photo: Oscar Ddel Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Extended United Nations climate talks ended early Sunday with a modest agreement that punts key decisions and, activists argue, fails to reflect the urgency needed to confront the problem.

Why it matters: The latest round of annual UN negotiations in Madrid, which ended two days after Friday's scheduled close, are the last before nations are slated to offer revised emissions-cutting pledges next year under the Paris Climate Agreement.

UN climate emergency talks limp on

A hand holding the UN symbol
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Negotiations at COP25, the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference, continued into the night Saturday as "major economies resisted calls for bolder climate commitments," Reuters reports from the Madrid summit.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Ben Geman: This impasse shows how hard it's proving to transform the Paris climate agreement's vision into more concrete steps. It comes as the harms of the changing climate become more apparent in the present.