COP25 climate summit faces calls for urgent action
Guy Henderson

World leaders are under pressure to forge ahead with attempts to curb temperature as the COP25 climate summit gets underway on Monday in Spain.

Governments from around the world will try to launch a new era of action against the climate crisis, as regions on every continent experience extreme weather from floods to wildfires.

At COP16, rich countries pledged $100 billion to some of the world's poorest nations by 2020, with the aim of helping them tackle and cope with climate change.

The New Year is weeks away, and only a fraction of that money has materialized.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are barely responsible for global warming while the G20 group of the world's largest economies account for about 75 percent of global greenhouse emissions.

And yet according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is the Global South who's economies will be hit hardest by the effects of rising temperatures.

As well as the socio-economic divides between nations on the climate issue, is the gap between rich and poor. 


This year's COP25 was supposed to be taking place in Chile. The location was moved to Madrid owing to a wave of anti-government protests linked to inequality that have been happening in places as diverse as Lebanon and Iraq. 

What links them is a consistent complaint that the status quo cannot continue, that it is rigged to benefit the few above the many. That debate is spilling over into this year's meeting. 

Many of those who say globalization is not benefiting them argue too many climate policies are written by the rich for the rich. 

In France, the Gilet Jeune (Yellow Vests) originally took to the streets because of a planned fuel tax rise, aimed at reducing pollution in urban areas. Their argument: low-income citizens would suffer most. Protests in Chile began over anger at rising metro fares, linked to a decision in 2017 to power the network with renewable energy.

As delegates gather in Madrid, there is an increasing realization both, that urgent action is needed on climate change, but also that it must be fairer than it is now.