Planet Earth, 'close to a point of no return': UN Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that important decisions must be taken "now" to deal with climate change in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change (COP25) conference at Madrid's IFEMA convention center.
Iran Press/ Europe: The Climate Summit, which should lay the framework for a new phase of climate action, starts today in the Spanish capital. Although the summit takes place in Spain, Chilean minister Carolina Shmidt will preside over the negotiations during the summit. COP25 is the last UN Climate Summit before 2020 when many nations must submit new climate action plans.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that important decisions must be taken "now" to limit emissions that cause the greenhouse effect, Reuters reported.
Guterres claimed that the planet is close to “the point of no return” and urged all countries to be more "ambitious" and cut pollutant emissions as this is "critical time" to combat climate change.
Climate change's 'unequal' impact on different countries and social groups has been marked by world leaders.
"We need a rapid and profound change in the way Humanity does business, generates energy, builds cities, moves and feeds itself, eliminating our addiction to carbon", Antonio Guterres said. He urged especially to abandon fossil fuels and regulate carbon markets.
Chilean environmental minister Carolina Schmidt claimed that the way climate change affects the world is "unfair" as it mainly hurts vulnerable people, communities and countries.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also mentioned that the climate crisis should be addressed in terms of "economic and environmental justice for all".
"We all believe that we have a moral responsibility to future generations to pass on this planet in a better way, the best possible way", Pelosi said during the opening ceremony.
The path to decarbonization was also highlighted as one of the main goals of states to fight climate change, one of the outstanding issues from the last climate summit held last year in Poland.
Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also said "We must reach the Glasgow summit in 2020 (COP26) with much more ambitious national contributions and these long-term strategies must lead to orderly, fair and efficient decarbonization. Spain is ready to take that step forward."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is attending Madrid's conference as her first official act. Von der Leyen has set high targets in the European Union's policy to combat climate change, pledging to reduce the bloc's carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
The UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 is designed to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process. Following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP 24 in Poland last year, a key objective is to complete several matters with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.