Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference Closes with Limited Ambition
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Issues for which an outcome was reached at COP 25 included the review of the WIM, gender, and some finance-related issues, such as guidance to the Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund.

Issues left unresolved included discussions on Article 6, common time frames, long-term finance, transparency issues for the Paris Agreement, report of the Adaptation Committee, and the report of the Consultative Group of Experts.

The 2019 Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference was expected to conclude with decisions on guidance for Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms) and a review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM), among other issues. However, despite running nearly 40 hours overtime and therefore becoming the longest climate change COP, many delegates and observers have expressed disappointment with the few decisions adopted and the language related to ambition in an outcome text titled, ‘Chile-Madrid Time for Action.’

The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 25) was originally set to take place in Santiago, Chile, but the venue was switched to Madrid, Spain, one month before it opened, due to the situation in Chile. 

IISD’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of the meeting indicates that the Conference was affected by “disconnects between the demands of people and science, and what the process could deliver, and between countries that want to look to the future, and those focused on the past.”

The COP 25 President, Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile, attempted to facilitate progress during the second week through high-level consultations. In the end, many agenda items were unresolved and will be included in the agenda for the next session, as provided in Rule 16 of the draft rules of procedure (Rule 16 is applied when parties are unable to complete their consideration of the issue, often owing to a lack of consensus on the substance, or on the process moving forward). Accordingly, discussions on Article 6 will be forwarded to the June 2020 subsidiary bodies meeting. Additional issues left unresolved include common time frames, long-term finance, transparency issues for the Paris Agreement, report of the Adaptation Committee, and report of the Consultative Group of Experts.

Issues for which an outcome was reached at COP 25 include the review of the WIM, gender and some finance-related issues, such as guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF).

In addition, parties adopted three decisions titled, ‘Chile-Madrid Time for Action,’ as follows:

  • In the Chile-Madrid Time for Action decision adopted under the 25th session of the COP to the UNFCCC (COP 25), the COP decided to: hold, at COP 26, a roundtable among parties and non-party stakeholders on pre-2020 implementation and ambition; welcome the continuation of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, continue to appoint high-level champions, for 2021-2025, and convene an annual high-level event; and request the SBSTA Chair to convene, at SBSTA 52, dialogues on the ocean and climate change. 
  • In the Chile-Madrid Time for Action decision adopted under the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 15) delegates urged the urgent entry into force of the Doha Amendment.
  • In the Chile-Madrid Time for Action decision adopted under the 2nd session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 2), the CMA recalls that each party’s successive Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will represent a progression beyond the party’s current NDC and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances. In addition, parties are urged to consider the gap between emissions and the pathways consistent with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, with a view to reflecting their highest possible ambition when responding to this request. Developed countries are urged to provide financial resources to assist developing countries with both mitigation and adaptation, and other parties in a position to do so are encouraged to provide such support voluntarily.

COP 25 was attended by more than 26,700 people, including over 13,600 government delegates, nearly 10,000 observers, and over 3,000 members of the media. COP 26 is scheduled to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK. [ENB coverage of COP 25


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