Madrid climate conference closes without agreements

A delegate voting during the closing session.
A delegate voting during the closing session. / REUTERS
  • While the importance of science was emphasised, the COP25 ended with little more than a vague call for increased ambition

The COP25 climate summit in Madrid finished last Sunday with many delegates and activists expressing their disappointment at a perceived lack of progress.

The delegates assembled in Madrid did recognise the importance of climate science, and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in particular, and the need to open a dialogue about climate change's effects on the ocean.

However, agreement was not reached on two of the main objectives: making countries commit to expanding their emission reduction plans, and fleshing out the details of a global carbon market and the institutions that might regulate it.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, tweeted: "The international community lost an important opportunity, but we must not give up."

Teresa Ribera, Spain's minister for Ecological Transition, stated, "The mandate is clear: countries must present more ambitious national targets in 2020. It's important to respond to science's demands and the people's demands."

One glimmer of hope was the European Commission's announcement of an ambitious set of reforms which plan to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.

The absence of any real progress in Madrid ramps up the pressure for comprehensive agreements at next year's COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November.