COP25 climate summit: "weak outcome"

15.12.2019 - This weekend, the world climate summit COP25 in Madrid ran overtime to come to much debated decisions. Together, the two Directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research issued a statement to comment on the outcome. "This is a minimum compromise," says Earth system scientist Johan Rockström. Climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer adds: "The weak outcome of COP25 is sad but no surprise. It highlights that the next world climate summit in Glasgow really needs to be the turning point it is scheduled to be in the 2015 Paris Agreement timetable."
COP25 climate summit: "weak outcome"
The two Directors of the Potsdam Institute, climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer (left) and Earth system scientist Johan Rockström (right). Photo: PIK

"Postponing all the relevant issues is hardly in line with the climate emergency that we scientists highlighted during COP25," Rockström explains. "Follow the science - that's something I've heard a lot in Madrid. And the science is clear: If we heat up our planet beyond roughly 1.5 °C warming, we might enter a danger zone of climate destabilization. This is our Planetary Boundary for a safe and just future for humanity on Earth. Crossing boundaries of course does not mean all is lost yet, however, it means losing control and driving up risks for our children and future generations with each tenth of a degree of warming."

He adds: "That's why the global emissions' curve needs to bend in 2020, emissions need to be cut half by 2030, and net zero emissions need to be a reality by 2050. Achieving this is possible - with existing technologies and within our current economy. The window of opportunity is open, but barely."

The way to go: "A new growth model for our economy"

Edenhofer concludes: "National governments must present more substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions, at least if they want to stand by what they promised their citizens. Namely the US, Brazil and Australia - which already experience climate damages, and this will become worse - are unfortunately failing their people."

"Much hope now rests on the European Commission which laid out the bold Green Deal plan to establish a new growth model for our economy, a growth model that helps climate stabilization," says Edenhofer. "If put into action, this would include robust tools such as a just and fair minimum pricing scheme for CO2 and smart balanced tax reforms. From an economist's perspective, this is the way to go."

Weblink to UNFCCC COP25:

Weblink to EU Commission Green Deal: