Beneath the blanket of obscure terms used to determine what countries will do to curb global warming lurk a few key concepts. How they are interpreted by negotiators at ongoing climate change talks in Holland will drastically alter climate change measures and the future world environment.

Sinks. The word conjures images of a wash basin to most, but not to climate change policy wonks. Sinks are activities such as forestry and some agriculture that remove heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But nations disagree on how, and if, sinks should be used.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.