Climate change is perhaps the single most pressing issue facing us as a global community. Unfortunately, climate change is not treated as seriously as it should by world powers, as the Earth warms to dangerous degrees.

Efforts to cut back on emissions leading to global warming have been underway at the COP24 summit in Poland, where representatives from nearly 200 nations held all-night negotiations to reach a deal to implement the Paris climate goals. The goal of the Paris Accord was to reach to actions which would cap global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius to a safer cap of 1.5C.

The negotiations were held to mitigate the loss that might occur because of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Accord in 2016. The US cannot formally withdraw before 2020- the negotiations occurring in Poland are meant to guide the world in a climate friendly policy until then. After several last minute rows, the countries did reach an agreement, which is meant to outline regulations that will govern the intricacies of how countries cut carbon, provide finance to poorer nations and ensure that countries keep to their limits. While these negotiations are a boost for the Paris Agreement, there are still many complications that are left to resolve and this agreement remains tentative.

While climate change seems like an easy rallying call for countries to reach an agreement on, it is a very difficult task to unite 200 countries, ranging from developed to undeveloped, to assent to cutting down their losses. The biggest hurdle towards achieving global consensus towards climate change policies is the question of whether all countries will adopt the same limits for emissions, and what liabilities, if any, a country will face for breaking its carbon emissions caps. Developing countries, or countries which have tapped into their industrial power in the past few decades, such as China, have insisted for there to be different capping points for different countries due to every country’s distinct dependence on its industry- a demand that is unacceptable for Western countries. Poorer countries want some “flexibility” so that they are not overwhelmed with regulations that they don’t have the capacity to put into practice.

Certainly the current agreement is not strong enough for the urgency that comes with the climate change. Unanimous agreement on climate change policies may be difficult to reach, but considering that the world is about to go off track completely by heading towards 3C, all countries need to compromise to some extent to combat this looming menace.