COP25: Governments must respond to the urgency of the science and the demands of people around the world for transformational actions

27 November 2019

Audio recording of the press briefing available here

26 November 2019: Climate Action Network today organised an online press briefing to set expectations for COP25 and unpack some of the main issues that will be high on the agenda of this COP in Madrid, Spain, from 2-13 December. This includes addressing the issue of finance for loss and damage under the review of the Warsaw International mechanism and ironing out the rules related to the carbon market mechanisms, an outstanding issue on the Paris Agreement Rulebook from last year.

Representatives from civil society were unequivocal in their demand that governments use this COP to build political momentum towards stronger climate targets in 2020, deliver on financial support for the most vulnerable and more specifically ensure that a funding facility is operational under the Warsaw International Mechanism for climate-related loss and damage. As deadly impacts escalate and all signs point towards unabated and rising greenhouse gas emissions as evident in the UN Emissions Gap Report released today, the pressure is high on governments to take radical action to avert climate catastrophe.

The UN climate talks, now moved to Madrid, Spain from Santiago de Chile owing to civil unrest in Chile and growing concerns on human rights violations there, will be a key moment for countries to demonstrate their willingness to heed the demands of people and act on the weight of the scientific evidence. Climate Action Network calls on all countries – led by the major emitters- to submit ambitious near-term climate targets early next year that match the scale of the climate crisis the world is facing.   

Comments from CAN members:

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
“The climate emergency is now upon us, as countries around the world experience torrential floods, out-of-control wildfires, powerful storms, heatwaves and other climate-related extreme events. Some countries, states, cities and companies are responding with the urgency required, but the world’s largest emitting countries are missing in action.”

“For several years, we’ve been warning that we are running out of time. But it is clear that now is the time to radically change the path we’re on. The latest United Nations emissions gap report shows that global emissions continue to rise and will need to be cut at a rate of 7.6 percent each year for the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement.

“We are sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe and need to wake up and take urgent action. The outcomes of COP25 must respond to the clear urgency of the science and the demands of people around the world for transformational actions to address both the climate crisis and the crisis of economic inequality and social exclusion. We’ll be doing our best to ensure that they do.”

Alejandro Aleman: Coordinator, Climate Action Network Latin America
“Although the COP25 venue has changed from Santiago de Chile in Chile to Madrid in Spain, we expect that this will still remain a Latin American COP and raise issues pertinent to the region including funding under the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage and mobilising finance for climate action in countries in Latin America.

We urge Chile to sign the Escazú agreement and honor the rights of environmental defenders.”

Erika Lennon: Senior Attorney in the Climate and Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law
“We are in the middle of a climate crisis and it is imperative that the rules for market mechanisms under Article 6 ensure that they deliver on the overall reduction of emissions, help to raise rather than undermine domestic ambition, and ensure that the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples are respected and that they are not harmed by carbon market activities.

At COP25 we need robust and detailed rules to avoid double counting and ensure transparent accounting. Appropriate social, environmental safeguards that protect local communities and indigenous people’s rights – including mandatory local stakeholder participation throughout the project design and life cycle- is critical. Anything less than robust rules from the outset before the markets are in place will risk undermining the Paris Agreement and countries nationally determined contributions.”

Sven Harmeling: Global Policy Leader on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE
“Climate change loss and damage is impacting the poorest countries most significantly, as they lack the economic and financial capacity to rebuild and recover as quickly as developed countries. It creates a daily climate emergency for millions of people, particularly women and girls. Developed countries must urgently ramp up finance to reduce climate impacts and recover from those unavoided. COP25 must become the moment where rich countries shift the scales of justice towards the climate harmed people. Climate Action Network calls for a funding facility under the Warsaw International Mechanism that can provide innovative sources of funding to compensate for loss and damage. This lies at the heart of climate justice ”

Angelica Guerrero: Asociacion Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia
“We are facing the twin crises of climate and biodiversity. The recent IPCC on land and climate and IPBES reports have shown the huge role that nature plays in the solutions to the climate emergency. Nature can provide around a third of the solutions to limit global warming to 1.5C by 2030. However, we need to make sure that these nature-based solutions are not simply offsets and go hand-in-hand with far-reaching and transformational policies to stop fossil fuel use and fossil fuel subsidies.

It makes no sense to scale up nature based solutions if these solutions undermine the rights of  indigenous communities, their land, their culture and food sovereignty. Latin America is witnessing rising human rights violations and environmental leaders are being threatened and killed. A genuine approach to the climate crisis includes the protection of people’s rights. We need a clear interpretation from governments on nature-based solutions constitute and under no circumstances must such solutions include monoculture plantations.” 

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Contact: Dharini Parsarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN +918826107830




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