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One week in, two steps back. We need to find a way forward

Madrid, Spain – WEBWIRE
Climate Emergency Action at Laguna de Aculeo in Chile
© Martin Katz / Greenpeace
Climate Emergency Action at Laguna de Aculeo in Chile Credit: © Martin Katz / Greenpeace

Squabbling over ‘Article 6’ has so far distracted leaders at COP25 from what hundreds of thousands of people in Madrid took to the streets to demand: climate justice. Politicians at the COP will be under global scrutiny as they make the choice between commodifying nature via a carbon trafficking scheme, or moving ahead together with commitments on absolute emission reductions.

Read about Greenpeace’s expectations at the COP25 here

Greenpeace Chile national director, Matías Asun, said:

“The COP25 may be in Madrid, but its heart is in Latin America where — in Chile in particular — the link between an environmental crisis and human demands for social justice is being played out on the streets. Chile needs to shut down its coal plants by 2030 or continue to suffer droughts and forest fires, triggered by polluting industries. Only by protecting its forests and making access to water a right is Chile able to demand other countries do better in tackling the climate emergency. It is not possible to have a fair quality of life without environmental and climate equity.”

Greenpeace Spain executive director, Mario Rodríguez Vargas, said:

“In Madrid, we just had the biggest environmental march in our history. This massive, peaceful demonstration of the peoples’ power must drive negotiations towards ambition that matches what the science demands to prevent the runaway climate emergency. This needs to resonate with Governments and politicians in the negotiations at the COP, and in the formation of the new government in Spain. We will not accept delays or deceit.”

Greenpeace International executive director, Jennifer Morgan, said:

“We are halfway through this climate conference and we’re yet to see the energy on the streets translate into political energy at the negotiating table. Organisers say hundreds of thousands of people peacefully marched the streets of Madrid on Friday. Leaders in Madrid have a moral and democratic obligation to make sure the sounds of their footsteps are heard in the halls of power.

The Chilean presidency has put a spotlight on ambition and said it would lead by example. As we move into week two and high level ministers start to arrive, it will become increasingly clear which countries are ready to enhance their commitments in 2020 and submit climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement. It will also become clear which countries are digging in and continuing to prioritise profit and self-interest over their people. 

It is in the hands of the Chilean presidency to put science at the centre of these negotiations and turn people power into political action. Leaders have to be courageous and find the way forward – there is no other choice.”

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