The longest COP25 in history concluded last Sunday, after two more days of negotiations than planned, with an outcome that was however disappointing due to the lack of ambition and concrete actions in its final declaration.

Climate action has become a categorical imperative for all those who want the public affairs to be governed on the basis of reason and scientific knowledge. The increasing mobilisation and social unrest about the climatic situation of the planet have put all the focus on a summit from which a real commitment of the international community was expected in order to turn words into action in the fight against global warming and climate change. But the final outcome of this COP has been the “Chile-Madrid Time for Action” agreement, a weak call upon the countries to submit more ambitious commitments in 2020 in order to achieve the objectives set by the Paris Agreement. It was impossible to reach an agreement regarding the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers the carbon markets, a topic that already got stuck in the COP24 held in Katowice (Poland). It is worth stressing, however, the outstanding role played by the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, in the negotiations; the final result was unsatisfactory, but the major failure of a non-agreement was avoided.

“Europe has the obligation and the opportunity to lead the green revolution.”

In spite of the discouraging outcome of the COP25 in its technical aspects, we must emphasize that the European Union’s role throughout the Summit, was exemplary and with a clear intention to take the lead in the fight against climate change and the transformation to a green and sustainable economy. In a moment when the great powers such as the US, China, India and Russia were not showing any willingness to increase their climate ambitions, the announcement of the much-awaited European Green Deal took place in a key moment. 

Europe has the obligation and the opportunity to lead the green revolution. Reaching the climate targets needed in order for the planet to remain liveable involves a profound transformation of our economy, our industry and our energy model – a transition that must be social and just. The European Green Dealis the roadmap for this transformation and it has to show the rest of the world that ecological transition, economic growth and the improvement of social conditions are not at odds, but are the only feasible way forward.

In the leadership for climate action, the EU’s advocacy for its multilateral vision of international relations is also at stake. In the face of climate, there is no room for competition, only the logic of cooperation. Reaching a unanimous position regarding global climate tools and targets is not going to be an easy task, and it is therefore going to be necessary to strengthen climate diplomacy mechanisms.

The next big climate meeting, the COP26, will be held in Glasgow in November 2020. In the coming months, the EUwill gradually present the measures that will implement its European Green Deal, which will undoubtedly serve as an incentive and an example to foster a greater commitment from the rest of the countries.