The 25th UN Conference of the Parties (COP25) opened in Madrid, Spain on Monday, December 2nd, but even before the start of the summit, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had announced "the point of no return is no longer over the horizon."
From Monday onwards, political leaders and climate diplomats are meeting in Madrid for two weeks of talks amid the growing sense of crisis. In an attempt to keep his message “not one of despair, but one of hope and successful climate action,” UN chief Guterres highlighted the courage of young climate activists.
According to the Guardian, he contrasted the “leadership” and “mobilisation” shown by the world’s youth on the climate emergency with the lack of action by governments, which are failing to keep up with the urgency of the problem.
The UN explained that the COP25 Climate Conference is the actual Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is tasked to make sure that the Convention and the 2015 Paris Agreement that strengthens the Convention are being implemented.
Before the official start of the conference, Guterres said the world already possessed the technical and economic means to halt climate chaos and laid blame at the feet of politicians.
“The technologies that are necessary to make this possible are already available,” he said. But what was needed, was “political will to put a price on carbon, political will to stop subsidies on fossil fuels [and start] taxing pollution instead of people.”
Guterres also took the world's major economies to task for not "pulling their weight" to reduce emissions.
In a post on his Twitter profile, he wrote, “To address the climate emergency, we need a rapid & deep change in how we do business, how we generate power, how we build cities, how we move, and how we feed the world. If we don’t urgently change our way of life, we jeopardise life itself.”
This COP25 was due to be held in Chile but got moved from there to Madrid due to unrests in the former, the BBC reported. The event is expected to see 29,000 attendees over the two weeks of talks.