The United Nations climate change conference known as COP25 opened in Madrid on Monday after it was moved to the Spanish capitalfrom Santiago de Chile, which had to cancel due to a wave of deadly street protests. Before that, Brazil had dropped its plans to hold the event.
“The world is looking at us. It is time for action,” said Carolina Schmidt Zaldívar, Chile’s environment minister, at the inaugural speech.
Pablo Casado, president of the conservative Popular Party (PP), at the COP25 on Monday.
Pablo Casado, president of the conservative Popular Party (PP), at the COP25 on Monday. FERNANDO VILLAREFE
“Do we want to be remembered as the generation that acted like an ostrich while the planet burned?” asked UN Secretary General António Guterres.
The summit brings together over 25,000 delegates from around 200 countries from December 2 to 13, and seeks to reach agreements to tackle the effects of global warming and keep it within manageable limits.
Speaking at the event, caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), said: ”These days, Madrid will be the capital of the fight against climate change and for a real commitment. But above all it wants to be the capital of dialogue and words.”
“For years, several versions of climate change denial were in circulation. Today, luckily only a handful of fanatics deny the evidence,” he added. “No one can escape this challenge by themselves. There is no wall that can protect any country, regardless of how powerful it is.”
“If Europe led the industrial revolution, Europe must lead the decarbonization [effort]. At a moment marked by the silence of some, Europe has a lot to say,” said Sánchez. “The battle against climate change requires moving from words into action.”