Progress made at COP25, despite lack of agreement to increase climate ambition

UNFCCC Friday for Future demonstration at COP25

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Negotiations at the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid finally ended on Sunday, wrapping up an event which saw much progress made by the private sector, and by national, regional and local governments. However, there was widespread disappointment that no overall consensus was reached on increased climate ambition.

UN chief António Guterres expressed his feelings on Twitter, but refused to see the conference as a defeat, and wrote that he is “more determined than ever to work for 2020 to be the year in which all countries commit to do what science tells us is necessary to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 and a no more than 1.5 degree temperature rise”.

However, by Friday, when the conference had been expected to end, agreement on some important issues had been reached by negotiators, for example on capacity building, a gender programme, and technology, but an overall deal was held up over disagreement on the larger, and more contentious issues dealing with loss and damage caused by man-made climate change, as well as financing for adaptation.

Weary negotiators worked through Friday night, at the request of the Chilean president of the COP, but a draft version of the outcome text released on Saturday morning was reported to have underwhelmed all parties to the negotiations, with representatives of NGOs and civil society describing it as unacceptable, and a betrayal of the commitments made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

At 3pm local time on Saturday afternoon, a press conference was held by the COP organisers, explaining that the negotiators were still hard at work, aiming to “show the outside world that we can deliver, that multilateralism works.”

By Saturday evening, there was still no sign of a deal, prompting acclaimed 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, one of the high-profile speakers at the Climate Action Summit held at UN Headquarters in September, to announce  that “it seems like COP25 in Madrid is falling apart right now. The science is clear, but the science is being ignored”.

Improved commitments announced at all levels

Despite the disappointment voiced at the contents of the outcome document, several announcements made during the two-week conference to indicate progress. The European Union, for example, committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, and 73 nations announced that they will submit an enhanced climate action plan (or Nationally Determined Contribution). A groundswell of ambition for a cleaner economy was also evident a regional and local level, with 14 regions, 398 cities, 786 businesses and 16 investors are working towards achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Discussions held during COP25 broadened the understanding of the science behind the climate crisis, and the critical need for urgency: the UN Global Compact, which works with the private sector, announced that 177 companies have now agreed to set science-based climate targets that align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. That is double the number of companies that signed up to the pledge at the Climate Action Summit, representing private sector emissions equivalent to the annual total CO2 emissions of France.

Scottish bagpipes were heard in Madrid on Friday, marking next year’s climate conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland. COP26, due to be held in December 2020, is being touted as an important milestone in the fight against climate change, because countries will be expected to present upgraded national climate plans, that go beyond commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

Make this the year of ‘transformative solutions’ to avert disastrous climate change: UN Deputy Chief

Finland must focus on integrating migrant women and their children to boost their contribution to the economy and society

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

Innovation and entrepreneurship can cut waste and deliver the circular economy

End racist discrimination against Afro-European people in the EU

UN expert condemns new sentence for jailed Venezuelan judge as ‘another instance of reprisal’

What’s a logarithmic graph and how does it help explain the spread of COVID-19?

Universal basic income is the answer to the inequalities exposed by COVID-19

Britain’s poet laureate has created a prize to highlight poetry about the climate crisis

UN pushes for universal health care on International Day

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

Gig workers among the hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

A geared turbofan at Pratt & Whitney's production hub in West Palm Beach (copyright: Pratt & Whitney - a UTC Company- 2018; Source: Pratt & Whitney's website, media center)

The EU Commission approves UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins under conditions

Reading the smoke signals: The long-term consequences of Amazon wildfire on global health

The best companies to work for in 2020, according to Glassdoor

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Cross-border travel is confusing after COVID – this framework can help borders reopen safely

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

Mental health in the pandemic: it’s no Rubik’s cube

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

EU-China Leaders’ Meeting: Upholding EU values and interests at the highest level

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Colombia: Santos thanks the EU for its support to the peace process

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

The psychology of pandemics

EU and 15 World Trade Organization members establish contingency appeal arrangement for trade disputes

Coronavirus: here’s what you need to know about face masks

LUX prize will be awarded jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

Advancing multilateralism goes ‘hand-in-hand’ with work of the UN

EU leaders prepare timetable and structure for EU budget negotiations

Climate change update: consistent global actions urgently needed as we are running out of time

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

UN health agency team in China to strengthen coronavirus response through partnership

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

4 steps to developing responsible AI

15 years of risk: from economic collapse to planetary devastation

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

Draghi to lay his print on long term ECB policies prior to exiting next year

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

5 ways students can graduate fully qualified for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

The world is facing a $15 trillion infrastructure gap by 2040. Here’s how to bridge it

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

East Africa locusts threaten food insecurity across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency

Mental health in the pandemic: how to stay emotionally stable?

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

Asylum: deal to update EU fingerprinting database

Is there a new debt crisis on the horizon?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s