Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of the COP26 to be held in Glasgow, said the climate crisis had “not subsided” during the confinement period caused by the Coronavirus, and “we all have a role to play” when it comes to dealing with its consequences.
Thus, the President of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in the Scottish city at the beginning of November, summarized the spirit of the event whose main themes were addressed during the “Road to COP26” day organized by the United Kingdom Embassy in Madrid on Monday.
In addition to Sharma, the Spanish Minister for Environmental Transformation and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, and the Italian Environment Minister, Roberto Singolani, as well as the ambassadors of the United Kingdom and Italy to Spain and about twenty experts in environmental policy, business, finance and NGOs.
Adapting to climate change
Reducing emissions, adapting to climate change, financing the most vulnerable countries, and strengthening the rulebook for the Paris Agreement are the points that Sharma believes it is imperative to work on laying the foundations for green and clean growth that “will belong to all.”
The importance of COP26 was also highlighted by the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, who described it as a “priority for British diplomacy around the world”, as it would show the true commitments of the signatories of the Paris Agreement and will make it a “process”.
However, the fourth Vice President and Minister for Ecological Transformation of Spain, Teresa Ribera, admitted that “at the moment we are not starting with good news” because, after reviewing 48 national plans, UN experts have confirmed that governments are “far from the necessary level of ambition”.
So, 2021 will be a year to “build credible contributions” to reducing emissions in the medium and long term, Ribera insisted, while Italy’s Minister for Environmental Transport, Roberto Singolani, chose the European Green Pact as “the key tool to accelerate the economy and create green jobs.” “.
Circular economy, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and reducing food waste were some of the concepts around which the contributions of the experts revolved.
Glasgow Mayor Susan Aitken emphasized the role of political leaders and businessmen in “facilitating change” in the citizens’ way of life and explained “how this will benefit them.”
Aitken emphasized that “we do not lack the technology, but we do need investment and resources” when converting existing obstacles into opportunities and creating a “new green economy”.
For civil society representatives who participated, increased ambition and efforts to achieve emissions neutrality in 2050 are imperative, so COP26 should act as a “catalyst for avoiding climate catastrophe”.
This will require more funding, warned the director of the International Labor Organization in Spain, Joaquín Nieto, who estimated at 100 billion euros (more than 120 billion dollars) annually the amount needed to achieve climate goals and end the crisis. Resulting from the epidemic.
Comply with the Paris Agreement
Faced with this situation, Friday For Future Spain spokesperson Diego Verraz called for “binding agreements to comply with the Paris Agreement”, so as not to resemble the Glasgow meeting of COP 25, which was a failure “in her view, and declared a” strike against climate inaction “on March 19 .
Business representatives emphasized the progress made in recent years in the environmental transformation. Iberdrola’s climate change director, Gonzalo Sainz de Meira, said, “We are not aware of the technological revolution that we are witnessing,” because renewables are no longer “too complex or too expensive,” although he has identified “we need goals and policies related to green” As well as alliances to work together. “
At the closing ceremony of this symposium, the Italian ambassador to Spain, Ricardo Gariglia, summarized the discussions stating that the response to the climate crisis “has triggered social, economic and technological processes that can no longer be stopped” and in which “we all act together”, so “our way of life” In the future it will be different from what we lived through until the epidemic. ” Everdy