Envoys from almost 190 nations endorsed a program that sets out steps toward the next agreement aimed at reducing global warming, after accepting a compromise that watered down the responsibilities of developing nations such as India and China.
Delegates at a UN conference in Warsaw backed a plan from India and China calling for all nations to make “contributions” to reducing fossil-fuel emissions within the next two years. The language was less strict than the “commitments” suggested by the US and Europe.
The conference ran a day behind schedule amid divisions between richer nations and poorer ones about who was responsible for climate change and who must move first.
The envoys had locked horns on finance. The typhoon that devastated the Philippines in early November also amplified the anger of developing countries that industrial nations are backtracking on previous pledges.
Japan, Australia and Canada have watered down commitments on emissions. The Warsaw talks mark the first time since the UN started these discussions in 1992 that ambitions have been scaled back.
1. water down v. phr.
淡化；縮小 (dan4 hua4; suo1 xiao3)
例: After considering the limited budget, we have watered down the scale of the project.
2. lock horns v. phr.
起紛爭；激烈爭辯 (qi3 fen1 zheng1; ji1 lie4 zheng1 bian4)
例: Jack and his boss locked horns over increasing his workload.
3. backtrack v.
撤回；改變心意 (che4 hui2; gai3 bian4 xin1 yi4)
例: The government has backtracked on the decision to raise tax rates on rich people.