COP25 in Madrid… more like a COP-out!

COP25 in Madrid… more like a COP-out!

December 18, 2019

On the face of it, last week’s UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid should have been the moment world leaders finally took action. Right? Wrong! They actually did the opposite and fell short of any real pledges to address the gap between current targets and the predicted rise in global temperatures of 1.5C by 2040.

 

I mean, it’s not as if we there is a global emergency. Oh, wait...

Despitethe record-breaking global heat waves we experienced this year... despitethe thousands of scientists warning us that time is running out... despitethe fact that the last 22 years have been the warmest on record, the talks “lost an important opportunity” to tackle the crisis according to UN Secretary-General Antonia Guterres . At COP 25 the stakes had never been higher.

 

So what, pray tell, did they actually decide on?

Nothing much to be honest. Every country agreed to expand on their climate pledges by next year, however, despite a progressive alliance of the European Union, smaller island states, Africa and Latin America pushing for increased promises on cutting emissions there was opposition from the US, Brazil, India and China. Can’t be getting in the way of business as usual, now can we? With very little time left we cannot afford delays to the crucial decisions set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement which we saw at this year’s conference.

 

... and they actually had the audacity to give this year’s talks the motto of ‘time to act’!

These talks made it seem like climate change isn’thaving terrible consequences on the planet. While the delegates “treated the negotiations like a zero sum game” according to indigenous peoples’ representative Kera Sherwood O’Regan, the Amazon continues to burn, the ice caps are melting and dozens of species go extinct on a daily basis.

 

With the urgency of the science and campaigners growing “tired of governments siding with polluters... tired of our lives bring negotiated away for money”, as stated by Adam Currie of the youth climate organisation Generation Zero, what will it take for world leaders to finally stand up and take action?

 

Do you believe governments can solve the climate crisis? How will our global financial system designed for more and more growth solve a crisis placing limits on further expansion? Will developing countries accept slower economic growth in favour of reducing emissions? How can we come to an agreement on a topic that requires us to radically change our lifestyles? Personally, I believe the talks will drag on until we reach crisis point. Perhaps, it will take the loss of an exotic island to make leaders take notice. Would that then be enough to change the opinion of the USA, Brazil or China? Let us know what you think!



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