03/12/2019: SECOND DAY OF COP25

Closing the decade in which temperatures have risen the most and with the greatest accumulation of greenhouse gases; more than 7 million deaths a year from pollution; or that 2019 will be the 2nd or 3rd hottest year on record. (COP25).

NAIDER is at COP25, the first summit before beginning the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The importance of the commitments that come out of this summit are of vital importance: Heads of State and Government, ministers, government representatives from 196 countries, international organizations, large companies and business organizations, civil society actors and different environmental NGOs , and the media from around the world are meeting from yesterday, Monday, December 2, to next Friday, December 13, to try to promote global action against the climate emergency and implement the Paris Climate Agreement from 2020.

In the most technical aspect of the Summit, the negotiations focus on implementing the only aspect that remains without agreement for the full operation of the Paris Agreement, article six, referring to the regulation of carbon markets. However, the focus of this meeting has been placed on the importance of the signatory countries announcing their willingness to increase climate ambition, increasing their national contributions to CO2 reduction, something that they must formally express to throughout 2020.

From NAIDER we will narrate and analyze, from a critical and realistic point of view, the meetings and events that take place in the Blue Zone of COP25, as well as the political agreements that are developed throughout the days. Three conferences take place in the Blue Zone: The XXV Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), the XV meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP15), and the II meeting of the parties to the Agreement of the Climate of Paris (CMA2). In addition, starting tomorrow there will be meetings between the sectoral ministers of Science (December 4), Agriculture (December 5), Finance (December 9) and Energy (December 10). For now, events related to the future green and sustainable cities, ethe problem of diffuse emissions from three key sectors (companies, administrations and civil society), the practical and innovative experiences of cities against climate change, and tsustainable tourism.

In this first chronicle we would also like to highlight two aspects that have taken place today: the presence of different political figures and the arrival of the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

The young Greta Thunberg has arrived in Lisbon on an Australian family’s catamaran, where she will rest until arriving in Madrid next Friday, December 6, in time to participate in a demonstration the same day. As we analyzed in a previous post of this COP25, both social and political leaders are needed to face the challenge of climate change . Today different environmental groups such as Asunción Ruiz – executive director of SEO BirdLifethey have called for the application of laws against climate change, and politicians have also arrived and personalities such as Teresa Ribera (Minister for the Ecological Transition), the Queen Letizia, or Pedro Duque (Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities), who has launched a message in favor of science as a solution to climate change .

However, one of the moments to highlight took place early in the morning on Tuesday, December 3rd. Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of Madrid, had a conversation with a Ecuadorian indigenous activist named Mario Agreda, from the United Nations Working Group on Indian Peoples. The indigenous representative was referring to the mayor’s statements in September on the Telemadrid program La vuelta al Cole, in which the question asked by schoolchildren about whether he would donate money for the Notre Dame cathedral or the Amazon, this opted for the first option. “Indeed, it is the lungs of the world, but Notre-Dame Cathedral is a symbol of Europe” , he argued. The activist has conveyed to him the problems suffered by the Amazon, but the mayor has interrupted him and, subsequently, has played down the importance of the meeting.

It is obvious the change in Almeida’s environmental discourse, which has gone from wanting to end Madrid Central, the traffic restriction area in the center of the capital launched by the previous mayoress, to congratulate herself on the good “functioning” of this anti-pollution measure. Despite apparently being a positive change in environmental terms, the problem lies in the volatility of the decisions of some politicians based on personal interests or those of their parties. It escapes no one that climate change is not a primary interest for the current mayor of Madrid, who can position himself in favor of Madrid Central as soon as he can turn against it again if the pressures coming from Europe to reduce pollution decrease, or if the political gain of defending (facing the public) measures to reduce climate change also decreases. Every transition has, in its early stages, its difficulties and pressures from private and public agents. The problem lies when the denialism of that first phase clings and lasts longer than expected, or when the acceptance of the need for said transition occurs only in the face of the gallery, without implying a cultural and social change.

They say that COP 25 is the date of ambition and action. At NAIDER we want to check, first hand, if these premises are true or not. We will see.