Progressive businesses support a 55% carbon reduction target in Europe

(EurActiv, 29 Nov 2019) The COP25 climate summit in Madrid needs to lay the groundwork for 2020 when countries and blocs will be measured against their commitment to the Paris Agreement. At EU level, this should translate into an ambitious European Green Deal, writes Eliot Whittington.

Eliot Whittington is director of the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

A year in present politics is an eternity, and many of us will have forgotten Brazil was the original location for the COP25 climate summit. That was before Jair Bolsonaro became president and withdrew his country as host.

And then last month, with thousands of protesters on the streets of Santiago, Chile was forced to announce it was cancelling the summit. Hours later Spain picked up the baton as Madrid became the new host of COP25.

For Latin America to lose two chances to hold the climate summit is a significant blow. Not because Madrid will deliver less but because it is easier now to lose focus on the stark reality of climate change on a region facing myriad climate impacts, depletion of natural resources and threats to biodiversity.

Latin America spans four major climatic zones and is home to more than a quarter of the world’s forest cover. The continent holds four of the world’s 17 ‘megadiverse’ nations that together contain 70% of global biodiversity.

The very fact that it is a natural powerhouse makes it hugely sensitive to climate change and vulnerable to economic pressures, as we’ve seen with the recent Amazon wildfires.

External link

EurActiv, 29 Nov 2019: Progressive businesses support a 55% carbon reduction target in Europe