COP25 in Madrid: What Can We Expect?

After what the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) called a “lost decade”, the 25th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or more simply the COP25, opened on 2 December in Madrid. 
Together, the 197 parties from various countries and regions that have joined the UNFCCC will work on climate change mitigation and adaptation in hopes of maximising our chances of meeting the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. 
Delivering Full Impact of Paris Agreement  
The discussions taking place in Madrid are focused around ensuring that the goals set out in the Paris agreement will reach their expected impact. Here are the highlights:
  • Establishing clear rules for Article 6 of Paris agreement, on international carbon markets, will ensure that such mechanisms actually contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reduction i.e. by banning double-counting of carbon credits by both the source and the recipient of these credits.
  • Deciding on a common timeframe for the implementation period of the NDCs. The common timeframe should follow the 5-year cycle of the Paris Agreement, and provide the option for countries to opt for a longer implementation time if needed. 
  • Evaluating the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damage will help in considering and supporting the most vulnerable parties facing adverse effects of climate change. This is particularly important for smaller developing countries and island nations that are impacted by issues like the rise of sea level and loss of ecosystems. 

Preparing the field for COP26 in Glasgow 

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) reflect the ambition of each party within the Paris agreement, and must be revised every five years. As the next revisions are to take place only in 2020, it is uncertain that Madrid will see many parties making official commitments on enhanced NDCs. However, increasing pressure on governments and the alarming signals received from UN officials and the scientific community could convince some to increase their level of ambition earlier. 
A positive outcome would be to see more parties having a process in place to become carbon-neutral by 2050, there are currently only 66 countries that do so. Such a raise in ambition between now and next year’s COP in Glasgow is key as current commitments, if achieved, would still result in a warming above 3°C by 2100, far above the 2°C critical threshold set by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and even further away from the 1.5°C warming pushed by the Paris agreement.
How does amfori contribute to climate action?
amfori BEPI supports members and producers to measure and improve their carbon footprint. Through a built-in carbon calculator in the amfori BEPI platform, and information gathering around greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pollution control, we are making it easier than ever for members to engage their supply chain on carbon reduction and mitigation.
amfori also supports its members in their contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular to SDG #13 Climate Action. 
Climate action is also one of amfori’s advocacy key priorities, joining the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action as a supporting organisation.