The COP25 held in Madrid, Spain is bringing together governments, businesses, local authorities and civil society to work on the rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement and to build momentum for even more ambition climate actions in the years ahead. Attendance to the event was the first official act of newly elected EC President, Ursula von der Leyen, who has set high targets for the European Union to combat climate change, pledging to reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
On 01 December, EC President von der Leyen reaffirmed her objective to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, i.e, carbon emissions should be fully offset by measures that cut CO2, like planting trees. According to Ms von der Leyen, “in ten days, the EC will present the European Green Deal. The EU’s goal is to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. If we want to achieve that goal, we have to act and implement our policies now. Because we know that this transition needs a generational change”.
To achieve the climate neutrality goal, the new EC intends to set up a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, which Ms von der Leyen said would unleash €1 trillion of investment over the next ten years. To set the climate neutrality objective in stone and make it irreversible, the EC will propose the first-ever European climate law. The law will include extending emission trading to all relevant sectors, providing clean and affordable energy, boosting the circular economy, developing a farm to fork strategy and a biodiversity strategy. The European Green Deal, due to be unveiled on 11 December 2019, should cut emissions while also creating jobs and improving quality of life.
The EU will host over 100 side events by the end of COP25, which concludes on 13 December 2019. The Madrid Conference will continue to focus on completing negotiations on the single outstanding element of the ‘Katowice Rulebook’, the guidance on voluntary cooperation and market-based mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Work will be taken forward in areas including oceans, finance, the transparency of climate action, forests and agriculture, technology, capacity building, loss and damage, indigenous peoples, cities and gender.