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Katowice UN climate talks extended due to sticking points

Climate talks in Poland have continued through the night as negotiators try to agree with the next steps forward for the Paris climate agreement.

Thousands of delegates worked well past the official deadline for reaching a deal but key sticking points remain.

Rows continue over the issue of paying poorer countries for damage caused by global warming and the use of carbon markets to reduce emissions.

The likelihood of a deal increased on Friday after a new text was released.

The outline decision contains plans for a common rulebook for all countries, with flexibility for poorer nations.

There are also calls for all countries to increase their carbon-cutting commitments by 2020.

But many issues are not yet settled, as developing countries seek recognition and compensation for the impact of rising temperatures.

The idea of being legally liable for causing climate change has long been rejected by richer nations, who fear huge bills well into the future.

At these talks, the question of loss and damage only features as a footnote in the text at present, something that has irritated developing countries.

Another issue causing problems is the question of ‘market mechanisms’, where countries can buy carbon credits from each other as a way of reducing their emissions. Similar schemes in the past were often shown to be fraudulent.

But many observers believed that overall, some progress is being made.

“It was never going to be great, not least because the US is playing a laggard role, but I think we can get a decent outcome, if it’s framed in the right way,” said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Earlier, the former president of the Maldives, and now their lead negotiator, Mohamed Nasheed, made an impassioned plea for urgent progress on cutting carbon.

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