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Heads of State and Government present their climate agenda at COP25

Pedro Sánchez calls for greater "action and ambition" from world leaders against climate emergency

IFEMA (Trade Fair Institution), Madrid, Monday 2 December 2019

At the start of the round table, Acting President of the Government Sánchez thanked the world leaders for their presence as a display of their support for multilateralism and of the highest political commitment possible to address the climate emergency, and called for them to raise the level of ambition in their targets, in view of "the gravity of the situation we are facing", he said.

With each assigned a three-minute slot to speak, the close on 50 leaders presented specific policies and initiatives designed to meet the targets set under the Paris Agreement, which involve drastically reducing polluting emissions by 2030, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and thus achieving the goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures compared with pre-industrial levels to 1.5 degrees.

The floor was given first to the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, whose country will play a special leading role at this COP as it hosted the preparatory meeting in October, as well as having recently won the "2019 Champions of the Earth award, the highest UN environmental accolade". In his speech, Carlos Alvarado called for the goals of countries to be ambitious through solutions based on nature. Costa Rica has become a benchmark nation in terms of emission reductions, clean energies, the electrification of transport and on waste management, all of which are proposals that he highlighted in his presentation.

At the end of the meeting, Acting President of the Government Sánchez expressed his wish for this COP to be a turning point to avoid reaching a point of no return, and expressed his optimism that this would be the conference of dialogue between countries and of "enhanced multilateralism" - delegations are attending from 196 countries, as are some 50 Heads of State and Government and the top representatives of the European Union (EU) and such international institutions as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

European Union - leader in climate action

Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoOn behalf of the European Union, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, agreed with the rest of the leaders on the need to "do more" faced with what everyone is describing as the "climate emergency" and pointed to one clear goal: the EU wants to head up the green transition and become the first climate neutral continent on the planet.

For her part, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented the 'European Green Deal', which is steering the EU towards meeting the goals of achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050, in line with the target set under the Paris Agreement of limiting the increase in global temperatures to only1.5 °C. "Europeans are ready", said Ursula von der Leyen, "if we all move together, then we will also move faster, to the benefit of everyone. We will be as ambitious as we can during the negotiations of the COP".

In order to head up this path towards climate neutrality, the President of the European Commission called for investment in realistic technological solutions, the training of citizens and the harmonisation of action in such key areas as industrial policy, financing and research, whilst also guaranteeing social justice for a just transition.

Non official translation