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COP25 – Minimum agreement and greater ambition

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On December 15, the twenty-fifth United Nations Conference on Climate Change ended in Madrid with a minimum agreement and the commitment to continue working on the design of mechanisms that guarantee compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Frustration over the lack of consensus at COP25 has been the most widespread feeling among conference participants, in which firm arguments have been put on the table about the urgency of the act without delay. However, the conference ended with a minimum agreement.

It was made significant progress in what regional and local governments are related to, as well as for the private sector, but there wasn’t consensus on the capital issues that, as in previous years, have proved to be the most controversial. These include financing for climate change adaptation mechanisms, assistance to developing countries with greater exposure to climate risks, the establishment of an international emission rights market, or national emissions reduction commitments, being these two last points, the most controversial in the conference.

COP25 closes by calling on the parties to increase their ambition and present more concrete plans in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Regarding the emission reduction commitments, there have been few countries that have presented concrete plans and aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In this regard, the Conference has been closed with a call to all parties to increase the ambition of their reduction commitments towards COP26, which will be held at the end of 2020 in Glasgow (United Kingdom).

There have also been long hours of negotiation in relation to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which refers to carbon markets and the development of systems for the exchange of emission rights between countries and companies that serve as compensation mechanisms. Unfortunately, despite the many countries that have worked hard for it, no agreement has been reached and a new deadline has been established as of June 2020 to continue working on defining and approving a carbon market system for the next COP.

Se ha materializado el apoyo a los Principios de San José, fundamentos hacia un mercado de carbono sostenible.

The starting point of this commitment has materialized in the support of more than thirty countries of the San Jose Principles, which form the basis on which a fair and solid carbon market should be built.

It is essential that the rest of the parties support these principles if we want to keep the 1.5ºC objective within reach. Each year that passes without consensus is a losing battle in a war against an enemy that we can only win together. The efforts and ambition necessary to fulfill the Paris Agreement increase exponentially for each year of inaction, so now more than ever, we must not forget that it is #TimeForAction.

Pablo Collazo Sánchez

Pablo Collazo Sánchez. responsible for Environmental Sustainability at Abengoa

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