UN Climate Change Conference – COP 25

Dec 20, 2019 | JPIC, UN Presence

Madrid, Spain. The UN Climate Change Conference – COP 25 – took place in Madrid from 2 to 15 December 2019. Due to the sociopolitical situations in Brazil (original host but declined) and Chile (who took the responsibility after Brazil’s decline), the venue was transferred from Chile to Spain as requested by the Chilean government, with Chile still presiding over the event. Fr. Miguel Angel Velasco, CMF, member of the UN Claretian team, represented the Congregation in the Blue Zone reserved for the negotiators.

Un 20191215 Cop25 2COP meetings have been held annually since the Rio de Janeiro Climate Summit in 1992. Since then, there have been two especially important milestones: COP3 in Kyoto (1997), in which they agreed to reduce 5% in the emission of greenhouse gases; and COP21 in Paris (2015) in which climate change was addressed, remembering CO2 reductions, the aid to countries affected by climate change and the aid for countries to be able to recover from the problems caused by these changes. Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated the relationship between the increase in the temperature of the planet and the melting of the poles, the increase in the level of marine waters, droughts, the impetuous nature of cyclones, the increase in acidity in the waters of the sea. All this has an especially notable impact on the most vulnerable and underscored populations of humanity. To talk about Climate Change today is to talk about Human Rights and the Rights of the people, very much in line with the Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis and the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development.

People from all around the world marched on the streets of Madrid on the 7th of December – young people, activists, indigenous groups, U.N. staff and many official delegates gathered and demanded leaders to respond to the climate emergency. After two weeks of negotiations, UN Climate Change Conference – COP25 concluded with a decision taken on the 15th. It released a text of which observers complained as weak on ambition. Observers of the summit held G20 countries and major oil, gas and coal companies responsible for undermining the climate ambition and blocking the progress for better response to this global challenge. COP25’s final decision text “re-emphasizes with serious concern the urgent need to address the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation efforts in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 (…)”, at the same time that it “stresses the urgency of enhanced ambition in order to ensure the highest possible mitigation and adaptation efforts by all Parties.”

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Other significant steps: the European Green Pact to put sustainable Development into operation in Europe; the agreement of the ministers of economy of an important group of countries to introduce the green economy in their respective budgets; agreements of most Latin American countries to develop projects for COP26; groups of large companies, cities and regions that endorse the Paris Agreement; and the citizen mobilization in the streets.

The Claretian Team in the UN will continue will follow the track of the COP25 agreements and the road to COP26.

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