COP25 to tackle global climate challenges

A ground to hold the leading emitters to account

The two-week long international conference on harmful climate change that started on Sunday, December 2 in Madrid should provide a fresh impetus to international efforts to push the world toward a carbon-free future.

The conference, which will incorporate the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is an opportunity for all countries of the world to come together to seek solutions and resolutions regarding arguably the most pressing global issue of our times. We hope COP25 will serve the world as a springboard for progress ahead of key 2020 deadlines established by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The final UN climate conference before the defining year of 2020, when many countries must submit new climate action plans, should address all key concerns to ensure that the rules set by the landmark climate pact will be implemented smoothly and effectively.

Of late, a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, compiled by hundreds of scientists from around the world, has warned that the damage that was previously thought to be caused by a rise in average temperatures by 2 degrees will come much sooner at the 1.5-degree mark.

It is needless to mention that this dire warning has provoked calls for efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. This would require all the countries to step up their efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions to net zero around 2050. Not to mention that whether the international community can commit itself to the tougher target of avoiding 1.5 degrees of warming depends on the actions taken by leading emitters.

Whether the international community can 

commit itself to the tougher target of avoiding 

1.5 degrees of warming depends on the 

actions taken by leading emitters

China and India are the largest polluter and the third-largest emitter, are showing little willingness to embrace higher emissions targets. The United States, second on the list, has even invoked the accord’s formal withdrawal mechanism, a process leading to an official exit in November 2020. These major powers need to take a fresh, hard look at the fact that they and other members of the Group of 20 account for some 80 percent of global emissions of heat-trapping gases.

It needs no emphasizing that fighting climate change requires worldwide concerted effort, with all countries acknowledging their responsibilities. For Bangladesh and other LDC countries, indeed Cop 25 is a ground to once again bring to attention the disparities that continue to exist.

Bangladesh has done almost nothing to cause global warming unlike China, India and America as they bear a great deal of responsibility for the emissions already in the atmosphere. As developed countries are accountable for the severe consequences of climate change, developed countries should provide necessary financial, technological and intellectual support to the developing countries to tackle climate change.