Statement of Elliot Diringer
Executive Vice President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
December 15, 2019
On the conclusion of COP 25, the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid:
“The clearest message from Madrid is the widening gap between the action needed to stem climate disaster and the sluggish response of national governments. Civil society and business are now the ones leading the charge. Next year governments will have to show they can catch up.
“On the critical issue of ambition, parties struggled even to reaffirm their prior commitment to submit a new round of national targets next year. And for the second year in a row, they failed to agree on accounting rules for international carbon trading, the last remaining piece of the rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement. Strong rules are critical to ensure the growth and environmental integrity of carbon markets, which can help drive climate investment, lower the cost of meeting climate goals, and enable countries to raise their climate ambition. It may now fall to willing countries to develop their own rules outside the U.N. process.
“The first real test for Paris comes next year when countries deliver their next round of national commitments. Despite the impending U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, U.S. Congressional, state, and business leaders made clear in Madrid that they remain fully on board. It is vital that other countries not use the U.S. withdrawal as an excuse to be less ambitious.
“The science is undeniable. The here-and-now impacts of climate change grow worse every day. Business leaders understand the economic imperative of strong climate action. And citizens around the world are more mobilized than ever. National governments will risk their relevancy – and our collective future – if they fail to deliver next year.”
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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.