While world leaders are gathered in the climate change conference, there’s a general concern about discussions not going fast enough

UN Climate Change Conference, December 2019

Four years ago, the world celebrated one of the most important environmental treaties: the Paris Agreement. Besides all the differences, global leaders were able to sit together and decide that it was time for a bold action concerning climate change. By then, 195 countries signed the agreement that aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures.

In the following years, the global audience has seen the momentum created in Paris fade as the time passed: implementation, voluntary commitments and rules were hard challenges that didn’t find consensus. So, what’s the expectation for the COP 25? Held in Madrid, Spain, after Brazil and Chile having abandoned their candidacies, the 25th annual Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is expected to be “The COP of Implementation”.

Representatives of the parties will discuss rules about the international carbon markets, climate finance. Their main objective is to finalize the details of the Paris Agreement, filling in legal and technical details. One of the main topics to be discussed is the set of rules for voluntary carbon emission markets, which would let nations meet their pledged emissions cuts by trading with other countries.

Climate finance for developing countries is also another issue on the table. Parties will negotiate details about how to support these countries as they adapt to climate change and reduce their carbon emissions.

What is happening now?

The first days of COP25 climate talks were marked by demonstrations and social discontent with the slowness of global leaders about climate change. Young activist Greta Thunberg is leading marchs in Madrid, saying the world hasn’t achieved anything, as carbon emissions continue to rise while debates are ongoing. A recently published report published by the Universal Ecological Fund shows that greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.6% last year, even though the rate of increase has declined. It is not enough to represent a shift in climate action, as we must change it from increasing carbon to falling emissions.

 

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