3rd December 2019

Saleque Sufi

Government representatives of 200 countries, climate activists, civil society representatives, officials of UN organizations, donor agencies, development partners, press and electronic media have assembled at Spanish Capital Madrid for Conference of Parties COP25. The objective and purpose of COP25 is to arrive at meeting of minds among the nations of world on all outstanding matters for enabling launching of Paris Agreement from 2020. Countries of the world at COP21 in Paris in 2015 pledged to limit fossil fuel emissions and to revive a moribund corner of the carbon market. Head of government of 50 countries attended the opening session. U.S House of Representative Speaker Nancy Polosi is leading a delegation of U.S Senate and Congress. New European Commission President Ursula Vander Leyen is leading the EU team. Bangladesh delegation to COP25 is lead by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

 

The event kicked on in promising note as Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez at inaugural ceremony stated in unqualified term, “The transition towards de-carbonized world must happen urgently but it must also be fair to everyone”. He went on saying, “Spain will honor its word with more action and more ambition-an will leave no one behind”.  He also urged upon the envoys to go further, faster before the world reaches the point of no return. He concluded saying, “It depends on us to repair the damage we caused, and to halt the damage that is coming. We have the means and we have the technique to make it possible.”

 

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheilh Hasina while addressing the Action for Survival: Vulnerable Nations COP Leaders’ Summit, held at Feria de Madrid (IFEMA) urged the international community to initiate discussions about creating an appropriate framework to address the need of the climate migrants. She said, “We must appreciate that migration could be an effective adaptation strategy, as we focus on enhancing adaptation capacities of affected communities. Hence, relocation and protection of displaced people need due focus in global discourse to ensure their protection. We also need to commence discussions about creating an appropriate framework to address the needs of people displaced due to climate change”. Pointing at the leaders of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Sheikh Hasina said: “We now have a situation where the most vulnerable countries, which deserve the highest level of priority, are failing to access whatever support that is being realized.”

 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged delegates to work with a sense of “ambition and urgency” as he called the COP25 into action. He said, ”We stand at a critical juncture in our collective efforts to limit the dangerous global warming.” He questioned, “Do we want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled when the planet burned?” Quoting various reports on global warming he said” The signs of dangerous climate change is clearly evident. The last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.

He said, “The consequences are already making themselves felt in the form of more extreme weather events, and associated disasters, from hurricane to draught, to floods to wildfires, The Ice cap is melting, In Greenland alone 179 billion tonnes of Ice melted in July. Permaforest in the Artic is thawing 70 years ahead of projection. Antarctica is melting three times as fast as a decade ago.”

 

The world’s poorest nations, the most vulnerable to climate change had their voice heard on the very first day of the event. They called for more ambition and increased finance from the major polluting nations. Lionel Aingimia, President of Nauru said, “Rich countries carbon debt with developing nation is long overdue. The developing is more than just a market to sell green tech and financial products. The consensus needed to fight climate change, a political fight, plain and simple.“

 

Yamide Dagnet, senior associate of international climate action brought it to the notice of all that, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is one of the key political focal points of COP25. It deals with creating market mechanism that each nation can use to help it meet nations emissions targets. He reminded all that in Climate met in 2018 nations failed to reach any agreement on market structure. He said, “An agreement by participants of COP25 on creating market mechanism to help nations meet emission target is important but should not be achieved at all cost.”

 

One of the very interesting development of day one of COP25 was, Nancy Polosi head of U.S making the world know that U.S is still very much alive in Paris Agreement. She said U.S Congress and Senate are still committed to the fight against climate change. She said in a press conference, “Our delegation is here to send a message that Congress’s Commitment to take action on climate crisis is iron clad”.


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