Agreement on the fine print of the Paris climate accord drew closer Thursday, three years after countries sealed the landmark deal on curbing global warming, but negotiators remained divided on some of the thorniest issues and appeared set for overtime.
Anticipating the need for more debate, organizers prepared to extend the meeting, which was supposed to end Friday, until Sunday.
"The majority of the rulebook for the Paris Agreement has been created, which is something to be thankful for", said Mohamed Adow, global climate lead at Christian Aid.
Among the key achievements in Katowice was an agreement on how countries should report their greenhouses gas emissions and the efforts they're taking to reduce them. It warned that if the world warmed to even 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, hundreds of millions of people would face unsafe climate-related risks by 2050, and 99 percent of the world's coral reefs would be wiped out.
Diplomats at UN climate talks agree on reporting emissions
He added: "We will all have to give in order to gain".
"If necessary, we will rebel against the negotiations", Nasheed told reporters.
Negotiators had been struggling to reach agreement on the rules for an global market in carbon credits, which support carbon-cutting projects in poorer countries.
The meeting postponed decisions on pledging more ambitious action to fight global warming and on regulating the market for worldwide carbon emissions trading.
"In Katowice, the US negotiators have played a central role in the talks, helping to broker an outcome that is true to the Paris vision of a common transparency framework for all countries that also provides flexibility for those that need it", said Keohane, calling the agreement "a vital step forward in realizing the promise of the Paris accord".More news: Shaqiri revels in 'beautiful feeling' in putting United to the sword
There are also calls for all countries to increase their carbon cutting commitments by 2020.
At the conference, delegates clashed over financing, with poorer countries most affected by climate change demanding recognition of the damage that it causes and asking for long-term financial support.
Before the talks started, many expected that the deal would not be as robust as is needed as the unity which underpinned the Paris talks has fragmented and one of the worlds biggest emitters, the United States, still intends to leave the pact when it can formally do so in 2020. "I'm firmly convinced that if we invest in protecting the climate now, it will be an enormous advantage, a competitive advantage, for industrialized countries like Germany".
"Ministers are still in bilateral talks because of Brazil's position", a negotiator said.
"In a positive way, it's creative chaos", said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. In Paris, we said what our goals were and here, we agreed on the rules for getting there - and with the whole world!More news: United Nations peacekeepers say two tunnels at Israel border breached United Nations resolution
The United States, set to withdraw from the UN process at the behest of President Donald Trump, staged an event touting the benefits of burning fossil fuels, including coal, more efficiently, while back at home, Trump has termed the Paris deal "ridiculous".
"Political will is missing", Alden Meyer, director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit science advocacy group said as the conference staggered towards a finish delayed for more than 24 hours by last-minute wrangling over parts of the text.
He said ambition will be at the centre of the Climate Summit that he will convene in September 2019.More news: Catriona Gray was her own HMUA during the Miss Universe prelims