MADRID – The international community has vowed to renew efforts to tackle the climate crisis and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the United Nations climate summit in Madrid.
COP25 president Carolina Schmidt presented a renewed climate ambition alliance at the meeting in the Spanish capital on Wednesday.
Schmidt announced that 73 nations have signaled their intention to submit an enhanced climate action plan, or Nationally Determined Contribution.
She also acknowledged 11 nations that have started an internal process to boost ambition and have this reflected in their national plans by 2020, as established in the Paris Agreement.
A total of 73 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 14 regions, 398 cities, 786 businesses and 16 investors are working towards achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, she added.
Schmidt said: “Today we are strengthening our global push for more ambition.
“More and more leaders are joining this effort to demonstrate that boosting NDC ambition is both necessary and possible.
“We are here to listen to what our people are demanding its leaders to do.”
Chile led the alliance after a request from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the context of the 2019 climate summit.
Schmidt said Chile and the United Kingdom will join efforts to mobilise others to join the alliance looking towards Cop26, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in 2020.
The efforts will aim to accelerate the transformation needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and stabilize the global temperature rise at 1.5C.
Communities that are vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis are facing an existential threat.
An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C stated urgent and transformational adaptation action were needed to reduce climate-related risk.
The Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience was launched at COP25 and has been signed by 118 countries.
It marks the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way we all build adaptation and resilience, according to the organization.
The European Commission also unveiled a new climate crisis pact on Wednesday with an investment of 100 billion euros to help economies become more environmentally friendly.
The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, “improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind,” the EC said in a statement.
EC head Ursula von der Leyen said while announcing the pact: “This is Europe’s man on the moon moment.”
“The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy – for a growth that gives back more than it takes away,” she said in a statement.
“It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming so that we live healthier and make our businesses innovative.
“We can all be involved in the transition and we can all benefit from the opportunities.”
She added: “We are determined to succeed for the sake of this planet and life on it – for Europe’s natural heritage, for biodiversity, for our forests and our seas.”
The measures starting with increasing the targets for reducing EU pollutant emissions in 2030, going from 40% currently set to at least 50% or 55%.
That environmental effort at the end of the next decade will be an intermediate step to reaching climate neutrality in 2050, which means the EU will not emit more CO2 than it is capable of absorbing in its territory.
Former EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker tried to tie member countries to this agreement in June but was blocked by Estonia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Estonia has since joined the green commitment but Warsaw, Budapest and Prague will need to be convinced to support the measure at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
In the spring 2020, the EC will detail its plan to develop more sustainable agriculture and fisheries, reducing the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics, favor a healthier diet and help protect diversity, along with other management initiatives of water and waste that, among many other legislative revisions, complement the European shock plan against a planetary crisis.