The Madrid Climate Change Conference – COP25 – will bring the world together to consider ways to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Taking place from 2 to 16 December in Madrid, the Conference comes at a time when new data shows the climate emergency is getting worse every day, and is impacting people’s lives everywhere, whether from extreme heat, air pollution, wildfires, intensified flooding or droughts.
Climate Action Summit 2019, UN
Global emissions are reaching unprecedented levels that seem to have not yet reached their peak. The last four years have been the hottest in history and Arctic winter temperatures have increased 3 ° C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying and we are beginning to see the fatal impact of climate change in health through air pollution, heat waves and food safety risks.
The impacts of climate change are felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. National economies are being affected by climate change, which today is costing us expensive and will be even more expensive in the future. But it is beginning to recognize that there are now affordable and scalable solutions that will allow us to make the leap to cleaner and more resilient economies.
The latest analysis indicates that, if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions by 12 years and stop the average annual temperature rise below 2 ° C, or even 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, according to the most recent scientific data.
Luckily we have the Paris Agreement, a visionary, viable and leading regulatory framework that details exactly the measures to be taken to stop the alteration of the climate and reverse its impact. However, this agreement does not make sense in itself if it is not accompanied by ambitious action.
I want you to inform me about how we are going to stop the increase in emissions by 2020 and how we are going to drastically reduce emissions to reach zero emissions by 2050, according to a call from UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres
In order for them to be effective and reliable, these plans cannot face reduction in isolation: they must show a path to the complete transformation of economies following the objectives of sustainable development. They should not generate winners and losers, nor increase economic inequality. They have to be fair, create new opportunities and protect those who are affected by negative impacts in the context of a just transition. They should also include women as main decision makers: only decision making from gender diversity is able to address the different needs that will arise in this next period of fundamental transformation.
The Summit will bring together governments, private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in six areas: the global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructure and cities; agriculture and sustainable management of our oceans and forests; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and the convergence of public and private financing with a zero net emission economy.
The business sector is on our side. The acceleration of measures against climate change can strengthen our economies and create jobs, while generating cleaner air and boosting the conservation of natural habitats and biodiversity and protecting our environment.
The new technologies and solutions offered by engineering already produce energy at a lower cost than the fossil fuel economy. Solar and wind are currently the cheapest sources of energy in almost all major economies. But we must begin to implement radical changes.
This means ending subsidies for fossil fuels and high-emission agriculture to promote the shift to renewable energy, electric vehicles and smart farming practices. It means setting a carbon price that reflects its true cost of emissions, from climatic risks to health hazards caused by air pollution. And it means accelerating the closure of coal plants, stopping the construction of new ones and replacing jobs with healthier alternatives so that the transition is fair, inclusive and profitable.
Climate Summit Conclusions in Madrid, according to rtve news
The Climate Summit closes with an agreement but without meeting the objectives. The delegations of the almost 200 countries attending the Madrid Climate Summit (COP25) have failed this Sunday to define the regulation of carbon emissions markets, one of the main difficulties on the negotiations that has delayed the closing of the meeting over 40 hours and has made the summit the longest in history.
Countries, therefore, have limited themselves to postponing the matter to the next Glasgow (United Kingdom) meeting in 2020 and to approve a minimum agreement, under the name Chile-Madrid Time for Action, in which an appeal is made to increase “ambition” in reducing emissions for next year. “Clearly it is not enough. The world is looking at us and expects higher resolutions. We are not satisfied. The agreements reached are not enough to urgently face the climate crisis,” lamented conference chairwoman Carolina Schmidt in reading the conclusions.
For her part, the Acting Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has described the conference as “bittersweet” as she considers that “she was very close” to get the emission market agreement, but “it cannot be to any price”.
Greta Thunberg appears on the stage of the final act of the Climate March and says she is very happy to be in Madrid and thanks the attendees for coming. “You are the hope.” “We have to make our voices heard. The leaders are betraying us and we say enough is enough because we have no other choice.”
One of the most tense points of the day has been the intervention of Brazil on the use of oceans and land, a point of disagreement on the negotiations last Saturday, which has opposed two paragraphs of the text and that have been about to block the agreement, finally Brazil has accepted that part of the agreement.
Carbon markets, one of the difficulties of the negotiations
The carbon emissions market seeks to reduce the costs of pollution on those that generate the most emissions, so that, as spending increases, production is discouraged. However, defining it at a technical level has been complex since they had to decide who has the right to emit polluting gases and in what quantity, something that already produced a lack of consensus at the previous Climate Summit in Katowice (Poland) and that put all of its hopes, now frustrated, in Madrid, disagreed countries like India, China, India or Brazil that have accumulated emission rights for years and want to be able to use them when the Paris Agreement enters into force in substitution of the Protocol of Kyoto of 1997.
The most polluting countries delay the regulation of the carbon market. Finally, countries have pledged to work on the design of market mechanisms at the next summit that avoid double counting, guaranteeing the environmental integrity of the system and “serving the ambition of the Paris Agreement,” said the Ministry for the Ecological Transition.
A minimum agreement that calls to increase the “ambition”
In the agreement adopted by the plenary, however, countries are urged to increase “ambition” and to present their climate commitments before the next summit, so that the United Nations can prepare a previous Synthesis Report indicating the state in which they are in relation to the objective of keeping the planet’s temperature below 1.5ºC.
The Gender Action Plan, another of the difficulties of the last days, has also been accepted and will be in force until 2025 – when it will have to be reviewed. It aims to achieve more participation of women in international negotiation, and assure them of an active role in decision-making at the national level. “The gender problem is not a problem of women but of humanity, such as climate change,” said Carolina Schmidt, who has highlighted “the vulnerability” of women to climate change and its “transforming power.”