Dramatic outlook for climate protection

Shortly before COP25 - the UN Climate Change Conference - kicks off in Madrid, a new UN report has set alarm bells ringing: the goals of the Paris Agreement can only be met by slashing greenhouse emissions by seven percent per year over the next decade. None of the national climate plans formulated so far would achieve this goal. On the contrary, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing worldwide. Commentators demand action.

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Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Those who can help despite the bleak outlook

Politics at the national level will be too sluggish for the necessary steps to be taken in time, the Tages-Anzeiger predicts:

“Nevertheless it would be wrong to bury our heads in the sand now. Our hopes lie in the cities, the regions and the businesses. For example London, Oslo and Boston, which want to cut emissions to zero by 2050. Or banks like the European Investment Bank, which has said it will no longer fund fossil fuel projects. However, we too can do our bit by taking stock at the end of the year and trying to reduce our personal CO2 budget by at least seven percent through changes in our consumption, climate-friendly travel and housing.”

El País (ES) /

Phase out coal now

The goal and the path leading to it are clear so it's time to get to work, El País urges:

“Countries such as France, Italy, Great Britain and Finland have approved plans to phase out coal within the next ten years. This deadline should be extended to the entire EU. Spain has accelerated the process of closing its coal mines and coal-fired power stations. But considering the circumstances in which they operate, an even shorter deadline would be justified. There's no point in maintaining an industry that not only causes pollution but also runs at a loss. ... The path is clear for a European Green New Deal. Governments know what they have to do to decouple their economies from coal. It's time to shoulder the costs”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Not everything looks black for the climate

Although concrete results are not to be expected from COP25 there is still a ray of hope, Upsala Nya Tidning puts in:

“No doubt a document will be published which does not constitute a commitment. It will bring together a power-hungry China, an uninterested USA, a fragmented EU, a fast-growing India and poor island states with concrete climate problems. ... Nevertheless, chief negotiator Mattias Frumerie has told Sveriges Radio that it has become much easier to negotiate. The positions of climate-ambitious Sweden are being paid far more heed than before. The reason: Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old Swede is sailing to Madrid, and not everything looks black for the climate.”