United Nations chief backs Turkey on climate change talks: Environment minister

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 2, 2019

COP25 has officially kicked off in Madrid, with Morocco joining more than 190 countries in the Spanish capital amid a growing sense of urgency and alarm over the human impact on the climate.

As part of the annual conference, the countries' representatives participate in the Conference of the Parties.

The opening ceremony began with a warning from Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "If we continue as we are doing, we run the risk of increasing the temperature of the planet and that will have an effect and awful consequences for humanity and threaten our existence".

In March of this year, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) introduced the Climate Action Now Act (H.R. 9) to ensure that America would honor its Paris climate agreement commitments.

The outgoing COP24 president underlined that much had changed over the a year ago, and said that, "we have come to Madrid to fill the last empty pages of the Katowice Package".

"In 2018, climate did not feature in the top words typically used to modify emergency, instead the top types of emergencies people wrote about were health, hospital, and family emergencies", said the selection committee of the Oxford Dictionaries.

"We're going to have to do so much more if we're going to contain what is turning into a serious global crisis of proportions that we have not seen before".

Chile's environment minister, Carolina Schmidt, said that the December 2-13 meeting in Madrid needs to lay the groundwork for moving toward carbon neutral economies while being sensitive to the poorest and those most vulnerable to rising temperatures - something that policymakers have termed "just transition".

Ahead of the meeting the United Nations secretary general has warned that the world is at the point of no return.

Greta is making the journey to Madrid by boat as it's one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel.

"Those who don't want to see it will be on the wrong side of history", she said, calling on governments to make more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases ahead of a deadline to do so next year.

"We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions".

Madrid then volunteered to host the two-week summit.

Teenage Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is also on her way from the United States to Spain onboard a catamaran. "The other option is the path of hope".

Activists and campaigners assembled inside the conference and outside but there was a lack of the pageantry and passion that have characterised recent COPs, galvanised by the signing of the Paris accord, seen as paving the way to global cooperation and preventing unsafe temperature rises.

The Climate Change Conference is held annually within the framework of the UNFCCC.

"This will have enormous negative consequences for humanity and threaten our existence on this planet".

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