COP25: It’s now or never

The 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) is happening in Madrid starting today, December 2, until the 13th of this month. The Philippines is one of the 197 countries that ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As such, we are participating in this meeting, a big one as it expects some 25,000 delegates from all over the world, including the young Swedish Greta Thunberg.

The year 2020 is crucial as it is the year for many nations to submit new climate action plans, which means that the discussions and decisions made in COP25 will have a huge impact on the world’s climate plans for the succeeding years. One of the important points of discussion would be about money—how to fund climate action? Our own representatives need to pay close attention to this conversation. COP25 is an opportunity to ensure that all parties are aware of the deadline and the urgency of it.

Another important aspect to this meeting is the honest admission that we, the whole world, are running out of time. According to the UN itself, not enough is being done to meet the world’s climate goals: 1) to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030; 2) to achieve climate neutrality (net zero carbon footprint) by 2050; and 3) to stabilize global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. It is very important that the whole world steps up its efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions, especially in the coming months, because this hit a record high in 2018. 

All 25,000 delegates will be entering this meeting tasked with the responsibility of taking bold action and making ambitious decisions on behalf of the planet. The sense of urgency is important to be able to agree on ways to move forward. COP25 is likewise a great opportunity to share ideas, efforts, and strategies to face the climate crisis together.

Everyone should be working to uphold the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, in which all parties agreed to give their best efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial temperatures, and to boost climate action financing. The next year will truly see all of us implementing the promised actions, strategies, and changes to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. It’s an ambitious goal but the biggest and most significant reason to work in this direction is the survival of the human race, which depends on what we do today. 

The way I look at it, the Paris climate deal may be the world’s final chance to save itself. In the next year, we’ll see if the agreement will work, if the parties will do good on their promise, and if the actions are truly enough to save the Earth. 


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