Madrid ready for ‘point of no return’ climate action talks

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa at COP25 opening (PHOTO:gettyimages)

By Kofi Adu Domfeh

The UN Climate Conference in Madrid starts a new cycle for more climate ambition and inclusion in 2020 and beyond, so we can avoid the ‘point of no-return’, says UN the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

His warning comes as he announced the appointment of Mark Carney as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finances.

“The announcement of Mr. Carney’s new role is a powerful signal on the eve of the UN Climate Conference that we need greater ambition on all fronts, not only from governments,” said Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera

He noted “the global shift from the grey to the green economy is gathering momentum, as we saw from business and finance stepping up at the Climate Action Summit in September, but much more is needed, and we strongly believe Mr. Carney’s appointment will help that transition find an even higher gear.”

Madrid’s IFEMA conference centre is receiving over 25,000 participants for the climate meeting starting on Monday 2nd December.

Madrid is the city that welcomed COP25 after Chile took the difficult decision not to host the meeting.

“I would like to give a special thanks to the two women that join me this morning – personal friends and tremendous examples of strength, conviction and a sense of urgency in the face of the climate crisis – Teresa Ribera and Patricia Espinosa”, said the President Designate, Carolina Schmidt.

The Chilean Environment Minister met with the Executive Secretary of the

UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, and Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, to lead a symbolic ceremony in one of IFEMA’s plenary halls, in which the venue and its various installations where officially handed over for the proceedings.

“I want to thank Teresa, and through her all of the government for their enormous support and generosity in hosting the COP25, which Chile presides. This is the best possible example of multilateral work and fraternity in the face of a common problem: the climate crisis”, declared Schmidt.

The 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) will be opened, and here “we have to change course. Countries must work together and commit to more ambitious goals that will allow us to bridge the gap between current commitments and those needed to avoid the rise of temperatures above 1.5oC as the science dictates”, Schmidt added.

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