Critical year for climate change starts in Madrid

Final preparations are put on the COP25 venue

Final preparations are put on the COP25

The Paris Agreement was adopted during COP21 in the French capital and is aimed at fighting climate change by trying to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

"Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?"

The vote comes as scientists warn the world may have passes several climate "tipping points".

The emission gap report - which marks the run-up to the 25th Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP25) starting on 2 December 2019 in Spain - provides the latest assessment of scientific studies on current and estimated future GHG emissions. "We see already strong commitment from many governments and the business and financial community - the problem is that the most important polluters, the countries that have the biggest [emissions of] greenhouse gases are lagging behind".

A key objective of the conference, called COP25, is for nations to commit to how they will operationally achieve the emissions reductions agreed to in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

A major United Nations science report past year reset the Paris accord's threshold for a climate-safe world from 2C to 1.5C, concluding that the global economy must be "carbon neutral" by 2050 to stay under that threshold. The slogan of the conference is Time for Action.

It's where representatives from more than 200 countries meet to talk about how the world's governments should tackle climate change. However, they failed to establish clear rules around carbon markets through which emissions made in one country can be offset by investing in low-carbon technologies elsewhere. "The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens' access to affordable energy". "The only solution is rapid, ambitious, transformative action by all - governments, regions, cities, businesses and civil society, all working toward a common goal".

50 Heads of State and government will attend the event and also representatives of the main global organisations. The European Union's newly sworn-in leadership will be paying a visit to the summit, however, the rest of the world's largest carbon emitters, including the United States, China, and India will be sending low-level officials to the meeting.

There's another delegation from the US, too: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is there with a group of a fifteen Democratic members of Congress.

The United States technically remains a member of the Paris accord until November 4, 2020. "We're still in it", said Pelosi, adding that climate change poses a threat to public health, the economy, and national security, according to NBC News.

The report focuses especially on G20 member countries because they account for around 78 percent of global GHG emissions, as we said earlier.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose government stepped in to host the summit after unrest erupted in Chile, said in a speech that "only a handful of fanatics deny the evidence" of climate change - without naming any individuals or countries.

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