Back in 1992, an international treaty was signed agreeing to stabilise the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and prevent humans from interfering dangerously with the climate system . 197 countries are now part of this agreement . Since then, these countries have met 24 times to discuss how to make this treaty reality .
Back in 2015, it was agreed that they would aim to keep warming of the atmosphere below or at 1.5°C above the 1850-1900 average (sometimes referred to as “pre-industrial” temperatures) . This was sealed by the “Paris Agreement” in December 2015 [2,10].
A report from the United Nations that came out just a few days ago says that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.6% per year from 2020 to 2030 in order to achieve the 1.5°C goal [1,5]. Given that emissions rose by 2% in 2018, our current actions to slow climate change are clearly not enough ! Almost three decades since the original treaty was signed, progress towards stabilising climate change is limited: with the continuation of current policies we will likely reach 3.4 to 3.9°C of warming above the 1850-1900 average by 2100 [3,4].
Today is the first day of the 25th Conference of the Parties, known as COP25 . This is great chance for countries to get on track with meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement [8 ]. By the end of 2020 countries have the chance to submit new action plans to tackle the climate crisis [1,7]. Therefore, the meeting in Madrid over the next couple of weeks is crucial for encouraging countries to strengthen their policies for tackling climate change .
To learn more about the events at COP2 5, take a look at their website . Show your support by attending climate strikes, posting on social media, sharing your knowledge of climate change with everyone and anyone!
 https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/30797/EGR2019.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y See: 3.4.2 Temperature implications
 https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/chapter-1/ See: Executive summary, introduction, paragraph 2
 https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/30797/EGR2019.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y See: 5. Executive Summary, Dramatic strengthening of the NDCs is needed in 2020, point 3
 https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/30797/EGR2019.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y See: 5.1 The great transformation towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions, paragraph 4
 https://unfccc.int/cop25 See: Paragraph 2
 https://unfccc.int/cop25 See: links to calendar, events overview, speeches etc.
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