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COP25 to Be the Launchpad for Significantly more Climate Ambition

As the global climate emergency intensifies and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, governments will gather in Madrid for the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 (2 to 13 December 2019) to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process.

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,” she said.

A key objective of COP25 is to raise overall ambition also by completing several key aspects with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. 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 mobilizing $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.”

In 2020, nations are to submit new or updated national climate action plans, referred to as Nationally-Determined Contributions, or “NDCs”.

“Current NDCs remain inadequate,” said Executive Secretary 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 stabilize 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.”

With regard to 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-organized by UN Climate Change this year.

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