What is at stake at COP 25? “net zero challenge” and climate refugees

Day one of the UN COP 25 in Madrid closed yesterday, 2 December 2019. Over the next two weeks to 13 December, the 196 delegations will negotiate to find a common ground to tackle climate change. 

So what is at stake at COP 25?

We have highlighted two major problems that will fire up the upcoming debates.

The first revolves around article six of the 2015 Paris Agreement to deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions. The pipe dream has a magic formula “net zero challenge”, emitting almost no carbon and counterbalancing any remaining emissions. In fact, some agricultural and industrial processes cannot be completely decarbonised. Consequently, a global market for carbon offset has to be created allowing polluters to pay for carbon-reducing projects elsewhere.

The second point of concern is about so-called climate refugees. According to Oxfam study Forced from Home, “climate-fuelled disasters were the number one driver of internal displacement over the last decade” (2008-2018). The study makes clear that while no one is climate-change immune, it is world’s poorest people who are most at risk.

Speakers at the official COP 25 open ceremony gave passionate speeches calling to take decisive steps to fight for the planet. Now, governments of the worlds have to make the play.

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