As the global climate emergency intensifies and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, governments will gather in Madrid, Spain from December 2 to 13, 2019 for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process.
The conference holds under the Presidency of the Government of Chile, with logistical support from the Government of Spain.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “This year, we have seen accelerating climate change impacts, including increased droughts, storms and heat waves, with dire consequences for poverty eradication, human health, migration and inequality.
“The world’s small window of opportunity to address climate change is closing rapidly. We must urgently deploy all the tools of multilateral cooperation to make COP25 the launchpad for more climate ambition to put the world on a transformational path towards low carbon and resilience.”
A key objective of COP25 is to raise overall ambition also by completing several key aspects with respect to the full operationalisation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Last year at COP24 in Poland, the bulk of the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement were agreed, except for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
Article 6 is to provide guidelines for how international climate markets will work, as a key component of the world’s economic toolbox for addressing climate change.
Other focus areas at COP25 will include adaptation, loss and damage, transparency, finance, capacity-building, Indigenous issues, oceans, forestry, gender and more.
Notably, the provision of finance and technology is crucial for developing countries to green their economies and build resilience.
“While we have seen some progress with respect to climate-related financing for developing countries, we will continue to urge developed nations to fulfil their pledge of mobilising $100 billion annually by 2020,” Ms. Espinosa said. “We also must see overall global finance flows reflect the deep transformation throughout society that we need: away from carbon-heavy investment and towards more sustainable and resilient growth. Drops in the bucket are not enough: we need a sea change.”
COP25 to Set the Stage for Enhanced NDCs
In 2020, nations are to submit new or updated national climate action plans, referred to as Nationally-Determined Contributions, or “NDCs”.
According to the UN Environment Programme’s 2019 Emission Gap Report published this week, unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
This means collective ambition would need to increase more than fivefold over current levels to deliver the cuts needed over the next decade for the 1.5°C goal.
“Current NDCs remain inadequate,” said Espinosa. “If we stay on our current trajectory, it’s estimated that global temperatures could more than double by the end of this century. This will have enormous negative consequences for humanity and threaten our existence on this planet. We need an immediate and urgent change in trajectory.
It’s achievable, but to stabilise global temperature rise by 1.5 Celsius by the end of this century, we need to reduce emissions 45 per cent by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It’s an extremely difficult challenge, but meeting it is absolutely necessary to the health, safety and security of everyone on this planet – both in the short- and long-term.”
Regarding raising ambition, COP25 will be informed by the outcomes of the Climate Summit in New York in September and Climate Weeks in Africa, Asia and Latin America co-organised by UN Climate Change this year.
“At these key events, we saw an enormous groundswell of action, with many contributions from governments and non-Party stakeholders, including regions, cities, businesses and investors. Their contributions are crucial to drive the transformation we need, said Espinosa.
At the New York Climate Summit, Chile launched a Climate Ambition Alliance that brings together nations upscaling action by 2020, as well as those working towards achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.