The 25th International Climate Conference opens Monday in Madrid. At the end of 2019 marked by an unprecedented series of citizen mobilizations for the climate, the biggest polluters are expected to turn the corner on the fight against inequalities.
2019, year of all records. Hurricanes, floods and fires were numerous and violent. The temperatures, they have risen more than reason, according to Météo France. Record in the streets, too: millions of young people around the world took part in the “global climate strikes”, led by a Greta Thunberg who became the environmental icon of this year.
In Madrid, the meeting promises to be tense for the 196 signatory countries of the Paris Agreement (2015), since the United States’ decision to leave it. Gathered on the occasion of a COP25 organized under the Chilean presidency, the States Parties will have to revise their climate ambitions upwards in order to achieve the objectives necessary for the full realization of the Paris Agreement.
- Support populations irreversibly affected by climate change
How does a country recover from a cyclone like Kenneth who swept through Mozambique last April? How to act in the face of the consequences of rising sea levels?
Assistance to developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change will be one of the main points of contention of this new international climate conference.
Associations and NGOs highlight the inevitable link between the fight against climate change and the fight against inequalities. “This is something that is not sufficiently taken into account or even denied by the developed countries, while they are existing”, regrets Lucile Dufour, international policy manager at the NGO Réseau Action Climat. It specifies that the issue of loss and damage is nevertheless the subject of a specific article in the Paris Agreement. Lucile Dufour will be among the heads of NGOs present in Madrid from December 2 to 13. “Since then, developed countries have turned a deaf ear and denied the existence of this article and the needs associated with it.”
“We must find financial means to support the populations concerned, and innovative means so that this no longer weighs on the budgets of countries, which are already very constrained”, believes Lucile Dufour, whose mission is also to coordinate the work of the Climate Network & Développement, which brings together some sixty French-speaking African NGOs around climate issues.
Among the suggestions of environmental associations: tax companies that use fossil fuels, tax the aviation sector, or even freeze the debts of developing states when one of them is faced with a major climate disaster , so that it quickly releases funds.
This is precisely what the COP25 must serve, according to Lucile Dufour, “to recreate the link between developed countries and developing countries so that this mechanism of solidarity exists to fight against climate change, and to face its consequences”.
The countries of the North have pledged to increase the financing of the Green Climate Fund to 100 billion dollars per year by 2020.
According to the latest OECD report, these figures are on the rise, with 71.2 billion in 2017. But the countries of the South are now calling for an acceleration of negotiations on the financing of the “losses and damages” suffered, that a group of NGOs recently estimated at 300 billion per year in 2030.
The COP25, the final rehearsal before the COP26? “This is a very important COP because it comes on the eve of the year 2020 which is the year when countries must adopt more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets”, explains Lucile Dufour. If we miss this preparation, it will then be very complicated to get back on the right path to limit global warming “, she adds.” This COP is a necessary stage: if at its end, we do not we don’t have the prerequisites, we will approach 2020 with a big handicap “.
- Definition of rules and a stricter framework for carbon markets
The new carbon markets are also one of the main challenges of this COP. According to the NGOs, countries should be prohibited from counting emission reductions traded several times, and excluded from trade emissions reductions made before 2020, which represent 4 billion tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent of total emissions from the country. ‘EU in 2016.
This system, created under the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and which aims to reduce GHG emissions via a system of carbon credits trading between countries, is “riddled with flaws”, denounces Lucile Dufour.
The principle was to transform CO2 into economic assets that can be exchanged by issuing companies on a carbon exchange, taking into account certain quotas.
Except that poorly defined and poorly framed, these rules now allow the exchange of emission reductions that do not exist, or which are out of date, even counting several times reductions that have only taken place once. time.
“If the rules allow us to cheat on these accounts, we will never achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement,” recalls Lucile Dufour, advocating the establishment of a strict framework for these carbon markets.
In addition, it also created risks, in particular for respect for human rights. These carbon markets have in fact made it possible to finance projects to reduce GHG emissions which have severely penalized local populations. The creation of huge hydroelectric dams has, for example, led to the flooding of the lands of indigenous populations, especially in Panama, depriving them of land to cultivate, polluting their waterways, and causing many deaths, injuries and displacements. .
- Increase greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in 2020
NGOs want the countries most responsible for climate change to take the lead.
According to the firm Enerdata, the G20 countries were responsible, in 2018, for 80% of global GHG emissions. “They are the ones who will have to do their fair share of the effort,” says Lucile Dufour, referring more specifically to the case of the European Union. “Currently, its objective is – 40% of GHG emissions by 2030, but to be compatible with the Paris agreement, it will have to be – 65%”.
According to the NGO, the current inaction would lead the world to produce 120% more fossil energy (coal, gas, oil) than what would be needed to limit warming to 1.5 ° C.
The COP25 must therefore be a call for the coherence of States, a call which also applies to France which, in 2018, exceeded its carbon budget by 4.5%.
It will have to have a strong positioning, as an EU country, and speak out in favor of increasing the EU’s climate objectives. However, the latter, brought to the European level, remain well beyond those fixed at the national level.
“To be credible and coherent, France will have to be able, at this COP25, to announce how it intends to go about implementing additional measures in order to respect its own objectives, particularly in the transport sectors, building and agriculture, which are the most emitting, “insists the manager, who regrets that Emmanuel Macron does not go to Madrid for the occasion.
The Paris agreement had confirmed the central objective of containing the increase in average temperature below 2 ° C, and to endeavor to limit this increase to 1.5 ° C. “Next year, countries will have to come back to the negotiating table with new goals, so COP25 sets the course for 2020: who is going to do what, when and how.”