COP25 Climate Change Conference
The 2019 UN climate change conference (COP25) took place from 2 to 13 December in Madrid (Spain), under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. The EU and its Member States took part as Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Negotiations at the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid finally ended on the 15th of December, 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.
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 at 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.
Next year’s climate conference will 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.