The Chilean Minister for Environment, Carolina Schmidt, also toured the plenary venuewhere tomorrow she will leadthe opening of the Conference at 8.00 am in the Baker River Plenaryhallin front of the delegations of 196 countries and the European Union.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, gave a press conference accompanied by the Executive Secretaryof the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, where he called for strongerambition and commitmentsfromthe countries meeting today at IFEMA, Madrid.
“Climate-related natural disasters are becoming more frequent, more deadly, more destructive, with growing human and financial costs. Drought in some parts of the world is progressing at alarming rates destroying human habitats and endangering food security.
Every year, air pollution, associated to climate change, kills seven million people. Climate change has become a dramatic threat tohuman health and security,” said Guterres.
For her part, Minister Schmidt emphatically highlightedthe sense of urgency with which the international communitymust face this Conference: “The effects of climate change are evident. Heat waves, floods, forest fires, ice-melts, droughts are realities that affect the lives of all the inhabitants of this planet. That is why we need countries atthis COP to make concrete and more ambitious commitments that allow us to reduce emissions globally. ‘Today is the time to act’is not a slogan, but a real need, an ethical requirement.”
“I strongly hope that COP25 will be able to agree on the guidelines for the implementation of article 6 of the Paris Agreement. That was unfortunately not achieved in Katowice. This agreement will establish a solid basis for international cooperation to reduce emissions and allow for a greater role of the private sector inclimate action,” added the Executive Secretary.
After the meeting, Chile’s Minister for Environment, joined by Patricia Espinosa, toured the plenary where tomorrow Schmidt will formally assume the COP25 Presidency on behalf of Chile.
The Executive Secretary, who chaired the COP16 meeting in Cancun, offered some advice to Schmidt ahead ofthe opening ceremony, after which the Chilean undertook her final logistical checksin the plenary hall where the COP25 opening ceremony will take place.
“The role of the presidency is to lead, facilitate and generate consensus among countries to adopt common goals. The climate crisis affects developing countries very differently than developed countries, but we must face it globally. The presidency must facilitate agreements between these very different realities, to deal with climate change multilaterally,” said Schmidt. Tomorrow at 8.00 am Chile's presidential work begins, and will continue until December2020, when COP26 is held in Glasgow, United Kingdom.