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Global climate meetings in Costa Rica close with call for further action

October 11, 2019

Government and civil society representatives from across the world called on Thursday in Costa Rica for countries to take more decisive action in the face of global warming, warning of a serious crisis due to climate change.

“We are experiencing a global climate emergency, time is running out to take urgent action required by the planet,” said Canadian David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights and the environment, at the close of the conference.

The meeting brought together 1,500 representatives of governments, businessmen, youth, indigenous people and civil society near San José to discuss the agenda of the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP 25) of the climate change convention, which will be held in Chile in December.

Boyd recalled that in 1992, when the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, which launched the climate convention, 81% of the energy consumed in the world came from fossil fuels, emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2) that contribute to global warming.

Now, 27 years later, that figure has not changed, Boyd said.

“We need action, not words,” said the Canadian diplomat both in Spanish and English at the closing ceremony of the appointment.

Difficult agreement

Climate discussions are held in times of concern about the decision of the United States, one of the world’s leading emitters of CO2, to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which sets the path to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

Similarly, other large countries, such as Brazil, have reversed their commitments in the Paris agreement.

Given this, Mexican economist Alicia Bárcenas, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), warned that “countries are not agreeing” on the urgent tasks that the world requires to move from a carbonized economy dependent on fossil fuels to one that is more nature friendly.

“The economic model is exhausted, climate change is the greatest challenge of this generation and is putting the economic, social and environmental collections of future generations at risk,” Barcenas said.

In the same sense, the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, stressed that the fight against climate change “is the most important cause of our generation and the next generation; it’s a fight for humanity.”

The Costa Rica meetings served to pave the way for COP25 in Chile, where the more than 190 countries that signed the Paris Agreement must move from a negotiation phase to an implementation phase.

“COP25 in Chile is going to be the meeting of action and ambition,” said Julio Cordano, in charge of climate change at the Chilean Foreign Ministry.

He commented that the planet is in a phase of departure from a world dependent on fossil fuels, which gave “a certain sense of security” in that energy source as a development model.

“The COP of Santiago marks the end of that illusion, that we can continue with that model based on fossil fuels,” and points to a new model based on renewable and nature-friendly energies, Cordano said.

Attendees at the Costa Rica event proposed the end of fossil fuel subsidies, the preservation of nature and the promotion of clean and renewable energy as a path for this new model.

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