The 25th Summit of the Conference of the Parties (COP), which was scheduled for December from 2 to 13, 2019 at Madrid, Spain concluded on December 15, 2019, with a heavy disappointment for the smaller countries.
The COP25, the longest climate talks extending two days more than the scheduled days, upset some small countries, as some major economies including Brazil, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the US opposed the idea of ‘emergency action’ toward combating the global warming.
COP: An Apex Body for Global Climate Change
The COP is the central body of all countries that signed the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It reviews several climate-changes related information of the Parties (countries) and takes decisions to promote the effective implementation of the UNFCCC including institutional and administrative arrangements.
The COP meets every year to discuss the existing climate-change problems and device policies to handle the problems for the future. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March 1995.
Disappointments of the COP25 Summit
The COP25 talks in Madrid focused on the Parties’ collective efforts for promoting science and technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions globally to prevent the rise of global warming as per the Paris Agreement 2015. Under the Paris Agreement, all countries will start implementing the emissions cuts from 2020.
However, the final draft of the Madrid Conference had several weaknesses, as the agreement was concerned only on the ‘urgent needs’. Citing the Conference’s decision was disappointing, The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, commented, “The conference did not properly address the gap between existing emissions pledges and the temperature goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.”
As many climate analysts revealed, the 2019 Madrid agreement was a weak response in the urgency of the global crisis around the world due to massive floods, droughts, wildfires, and cyclones.
Guterres continued, “The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and finance to tackle the climate crisis. We must not give up and I will not give up.” The campaigners complained that the 2019 climate agreement was so fragile that it had betrayed the spirit of the Paris Agreement.
Climate Change Summit for 2020
At the beginning of the COP25 summit, many climate change campaigners and activists believed that the countries would agree to an explicit plan on the reducing of emission as per the Paris Summit.
Referring to the deadlock of the recent Conference, Helen Mountford, the Vice President for Climate and Economics at the World Resources Institute think-tank commented, “These talks reflect how disconnected country leaders are from the urgency of the science and the demands of their citizens in the streets. They need to wake up in 2020.”
The next summit for climate change will be held in Glasgow in November 2020. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and his Government, as the host of the summit, are likely to persuade the Parties of the Conference to commit a broader plan for cutting carbon emissions.
In the light of the recent development of the European Union (EU) policy on climate change, Krista Mikkonen, Finland’s environment minister and the EU’s representative, stated, “It seems that EU now needs to be the leader and we want to be and we are going to be and that is what we are doing.” A week ago, all EU members (except Poland) reached an agreement of zero carbon emission by 2050.
Reactions from Smaller Countries
Some smaller countries expressed their discontent against the recent decision of the COP25. Felipe De Leon, a climate representative of Costa Rica, “As many others have expressed, we are disappointed that we once again failed to find agreement.” Smaller countries expected to receive some financial aid to cope with climate changes from the agreement.
The Pacific island of Tuvalu had condemned the US’ action for interfering in the broader climate change policy. Ian Fry, Tuvalu’s representative, stated, “There are millions of people all around the world who are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. Denying this fact could be interpreted by some to be a crime against humanity.”
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]