Climate confab closes in coal town

KATOWICE, Poland — World leaders wrapped up prolonged and difficult talks here late Saturday with agreement on guidelines aimed at implementing the 2015 Paris climate pact.

Why it matters: Failure to reach a deal on the so-called rulebook at these annual UN talks would have been a major setback for the 2015 pact at a time when its already under strain by the planned U.S. withdrawal and other forces.

Where it stands: The negotiators agreed to a set of rules governing reporting their emissions and detailing climate policies, while delaying a decision affecting carbon markets.

Flashback: In the biggest snafu of the negotiations, the U.S. joined Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait last weekend in refusing to “welcome” a recent landmark UN report on climate change, prompting outrage among other nations.

The final text of the negotiations “welcomes” the completion of the report, but not the report itself, per Climate Home News. It’s a subtle distinction that matters a lot in diplomacy like this.

What’s next: The next big political moment will be in September, when the U.N. holds a summit in New York where nations will be expected to say what they have done or plan to do to ramp up their commitments to