written by Maite Serrano Oñate y Yolanda Polo Tejedor, Coordinadora - NGO Coordinator for Development, Spain 

Madrid is hosting the World Climate Summit (COP 25) in a context of global mobilisations. Millions of people have taken to the streets all over the world; they are demanding their right to healthy surroundings and to a life worth living. The increasing precarity of life is closely connected to the climate emergency we are experiencing. The Chilean people who walk the streets of this city know this well, the city that should have hosted this summit before it was moved to Madrid at the last minute.

It has been twenty-five years since the first COP: a quarter of a century. Governments have shown themselves unable to go beyond words in confronting the great climate challenges humanity is facing. Although the World Climate Summit has opened with great pomp and ceremony, we need to understand the reality: it will not directly address the financing or the scope of the goals, however, it has the opportunity to make progress in the areas of gender, compensatory mechanisms for damage and loss, and rules for evaluating the agreements made at the Paris summit. COP 25 is another piece in a large jigsaw, and this is how we should understand it. Therefore, our expectations lie within the broader framework of a collective journey of continuous work.

A space for all protagonists

There are protagonists in this collective journey: Chilean and Latin American civil society organisations must play an essential role at this summit. They have spent months preparing for a meeting which will not now take place in their country, so their participation is crucial to ensure that ambitious goals are attained in the face of an extreme situation.

Amendments to the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM in its English acronym) are on the agenda, to ensure financing and genuine support for the countries and people most severely affected by climate disasters. Those who suffer most from the climate emergency are those who have done least to bring about the crisis. Millions of people in the poorest countries are seeing their lives directly affected; many of them even are forced to abandon their homes.

Meanwhile, the richest 10%, who cause half of global emissions, are those who suffer least from them. The Summit in Madrid needs to strengthen the mechanism for minimising these losses. And this necessarily involves an increase in the finance available for responding to these displacements, among other things. Another step that should be taken at this summit concerns the gender action plan, which needs to be put into action without delay in two areas. One, tackling gender disparities in participation in decision-making organisations. Two, incorporating a gender perspective into all measures taken by participating countries.

The third step: emissions

The third indispensable movement relates to the so-called Paris Agreement and what was agreed on emissions there. This agreement needs to be more ambitious; the reduction in emissions should be real; that is, measurable, additional, permanent, and verifiable. There must also be no double-counting or damage to communities or violation of their rights. The exploitation of the planet, our common home, is unsustainable.

The climate emergency and social injustice are two sides of the same coin: the political and economic system prioritises money above rights, and does this at the risk of eradicating life. All those who walk the streets of the world are clear: it is time to open broad avenues. COP 25 will be one more step on a long road of international collective construction in the defence of global justice. Let us go forward. Let us carry on. 

Beyond COP25: People for Climate

Call to participate in the Social Summit for Climate in Madrid: Coordinadora is calling all international organizations to join the call to speak out on behalf of civil society!