COP25 vital but time running out for more talks: Expert

COP25 vital but time running out for more talks: Expert

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
COP25 vital but time running out for more talks: Expert

As the last climate conference of 2019 after which many current climate plans expire, the COP25 talks bear critical importance in fighting against climate change, though more talks are needed, according to a climate advocate.

"Time is up. We can't afford these climate talks to be yet another staring contest where big polluters and right-wing extremists controlled by the fossil fuel industry get to block or slow down the process," Kim Bryan, associate director of 350 movement, told Anadolu Agency.

Stressing the importance of the COP25, she argued that the talks would be vital in showing the participants were heading in the "right direction".

However, the talks are not sufficiently ambitious, considering the massive demonstrations held during the year to push for action against climate change.

"Nations are still far from their goals, far from fulfilling the aims of the Paris Agreement and far from the deep transformation throughout society that we desperately need to address climate change," she said.

Bryan urged real steps on "green new deals" and related policies demanded by millions, that she stressed are necessary especially at "a radical time such as this."

"This is the only way we can end the injustices propagated by neoliberalism and extractivism. At COP25 we need to see and hear about concrete steps in this direction," she said.

She highlighted the risk that some countries, such as Brazil, could force a decision for a weak carbon trading system through the talks, making the 2015 Paris Agreement "useless".

"Carbon trading, like all market systems, are too often blind to social, racial and climate justice. The final text of the agreement needs to make sure that the rules will not allow disruptive mega projects to be forced onto frontline and vulnerable communities with the excuse of greening someone's emissions," said Bryan.

Referring to the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, a system that seeks to secure support from developed countries to developing countries that bare the brunt of climate change, she said talks have not made enough progress on the establishment of this system which will also be discussed at COP25.

Such a system is predicated on the idea that developed countries have a moral responsibility to create financial mechanisms to support the most vulnerable, which are not only the ones most impacted by the climate crisis and the least responsible for it, but also the ones who need the most help in addressing the loss and damage caused so far and in the future.

"We are calling for a financing facility to be established as part of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM). The aim of this facility should be to deliver new and additional funds to address loss and damage. This can be achieved by looking into new and innovative sources of finance that can truly generate additional resources to the tune of $50 billion by 2022," she underlined. 

Turkey's position in talks

Significantly, Turkish leadership have attended climate talks at high levels for the past several years at high levels, including the Presidency as well as various related ministries, Baran Bozoğlu, head of Turkey's Chamber of Environmental Engineers, said. 

Bozoğlu, who also heads the Ankara-based Climate Change Policy and Research Association, said that with this attendance, Turkey has also taken the opportunity to organize panels and discuss its efforts against climate change as well as to respond faced by the international community at COP25.

Noting that he would chair a session on zero waste, which seeks to reduce consumption and pollution, he said Turkey's zero waste policy would be discussed at the session.

He argued that having approved the Paris Agreement, Turkey should take solid steps, though the country is not adequately supported in its fight against climate change and often suffers injustice.

As an example to this unfair approach, he cited Turkey's designation as a developed country which stops it from using Green Climate Funds.

He asserted that despite this, Turkey should set and publicly release a date for the closure of its coal-fired power plants, as some European countries do.

"The economics of transformation also need to be discussed at COP25, because there is need for great economic and cultural transformation in the closure of thermal power plants and transition to renewable energy resources," he said.

Bozoğlu added that it would also be critical to adapt thousands of labors in the fossil fuels sector to the conditions of the intended green economic conditions.

A two-week UN climate summit began in Madrid on Dec. 2, among world leaders and activists for talks on tackling climate change.

COP25 is the final Conference of Parties before 2020, when many nations must submit new climate action plans.