Madrid passes climate baton on to Glasgow
Two weeks of discussions between close to 200 countries concluded on December 15 in Madrid with no agreement to reduce emissions necessary for the world to stop overheating by more than 1.5C. Countries did recognize that more cuts were needed, but no consensus was reached as to how they would do it, with further talks set for next year in Glasgow.
Some countries did manage to make more significant ambitions, with 84 countries now signed up to the Climate Ambition Alliance which commits nations to a path towards net zero carbon emissions in 2050, doubling the number of countries involved. But while this group included countries such as Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, important nations were missing including China, the United States and Brazil.
A total of 177 leading global companies, among them Siemens Gamesa, also signed up to a ‘Business Ambition for 1.5C – Our Only Future’ pledge committing them to work towards zero emissions by 2050.
Yet larger ambitions were not finalized and UN head Antonio Guterres, said: “I am disappointed with the results of #COP25. The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation & finance to tackle the climate crisis. But we must not give up, and I will not give up.”
His words were echoed by many world leaders and businessmen, and also by climate activist Greta Thunberg. The 16-year old, who has led a growing youth movement demanding governments act to save the planet, said: “The science is clear, but the science is being ignored.”
On behalf of Siemens Gamesa, head of Corporate Affairs Ben Hunt, said: “The talks have been unable to match the emergency of the situation, and we hope that more serious progress will be made next year in Glasgow. As a company we are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025, and to providing the world with solutions to meet their clean energy needs. The COP 25 said its ‘Time to Act’ and this is still very much true for our industry, governments, and society.”
The COP did make progress in other areas though, including the approval of a Gender Plan, which includes an action plan aimed at strengthening the role of women.