Climate change: What is the Cop 25 happening in Madrid?

Antonio Guterres

Cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases - mostly from burning carbon-based fossil fuels - that have been agreed so far under the Paris deal are not enough to limit temperature rises to a goal of between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. "But above all we want to be the capital of dialogue between nations united against a common enemy for all humanity".

"In 2018, climate did not feature in the top words typically used to modify emergency, instead the top types of emergencies people wrote about were health, hospital, and family emergencies", said the selection committee of the Oxford Dictionaries. "Now is not the time to offer an escape route to polluting Northern country governments and big oil". "This is Chile's COP: it is Chile that has organized the leadership and that has worked for an alliance against climate change and the success of this event will belong to Chile".

But achieving consensus around future USA legislation will be a challenge, with campaigners pushing lawmakers and Democratic presidential candidates to pursue a sweeping Green New Deal that twins climate action with social justice. Spain then stepped in to host the event.

Sánchez also said development should not ignore women and the environment. The U.S. technically remains a member until November 2020, and its officialcontingent in Madrid is led by Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, a senior State Department official.

"This shows that countries simply can not wait until the end of 2020, when new climate commitments are due, to step up action", said UNEP's executive director Inger Andersen in a statement.

The last five years have been the hottest ever recorded, the WMO said, and the concentration of planet warming Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached levels not seen in three to five million years.

Pacific countries will be trying to apply as much pressure as possible in the latest round of United Nations climate talks, says the director of the Cook Islands climate change office.

"We're here to say to all of you, on behalf of the House of Representatives and the Congress of the United States, we're still in it, we're still in it..."

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Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor, chair of the House select committee on climate, said the committee will put forward recommendations in March for a comprehensive climate change bill to bring USA emissions to net zero by 2050.

The US delegation to the conference will be headed by Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans and worldwide environmental and scientific affairs.

The 2019 United Nations climate change conference began Monday in Madrid, with leaders looking for solutions to reduce global carbon levels.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, new European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen and other leaders will gather for talks on the opening day on Monday.

"What is lacking is political will", Mr Guterres told reporters on the eve of the meeting.

In a separate forum moments earlier, US Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi told the "COP25" conference that the world could still count on the United States despite President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

That involves creating a functioning global emissions-trading system and compensating poor countries for losses they suffer from rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

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