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COP25: Madrid

The UN Climate Change Conference COP25 is being held in Madrid under the Presidence of Chile. COP25 will run from 2 - 13 December 2019 and provides an crucial opportunity for the global business community to come together and support ambitious climate action.

Stay tuned for expert insights from COP25

BCSD Australia is committed to supporting its members to bring this message of ambition at the highest level during the negotiations. So stay tuned for our regular updates during COP25 - on Twitter, on LinkedIn and in our COP25 Blog below.

Webinars on progress and outcomes from COP25

We will be conducting two webinars to summarise outcomes and implications from the climate negotiations at COP25. The webinars will feature expert commentary from Australian representatives at the the conference. Register to attend these invaluable webinars now.

COP25 Half Time Update: A BCSD Australia Webinar

Monday 9 December, 5pm AEDT

Listen to the recording for this webinar

COP25 Full-time Review: A BCSD Australia Webinar

Monday 16 December, 2pm AEDT

Join us for a review of the outcomes from #COP25 from BCSD Australia member representatives who were there:

Listen to the recording of this webinar

COP25 Blog by BCSD Australia



Sunday 15 December, 2019

JUST IN! #COP25 - Day 14 of 12: No Ambition. No Market 

As the Chile / Madrid Climate Conference Centre becomes a ghost town, with delegates' offices being packed up, posters and pavilions being pulled down, the Delegates came together in one final Plenary.


And the high level results:

  • Has #COP25 ensured it summons the minimum ambition needed to go into 2020? NO

  • Did negotiators reach an outcome on Article 6? NO


So the matter appears to be being postponed until #COP26 in Glasgow. We could be approaching COP bis territory, according to multiple sources. To find out what this means - and more - register for our webinar (Monday 16 December, 2pm AEDT) here: 


#COP25 #timeforaction

Saturday 14 December, 2019

#COP25 - Day 12: Friday on my mind. 

As the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference entered its scheduled Friday, which was supposed to be the last day, many expected the meeting to extend into Saturday. And so it is to be. Calling on all parties to “show the world that we are capable of reaching agreement,” the COP25 President outlined a new model of work going forward where negotiations proceeded in two tracks, where the first track focuses on Article 6 (market and non-market mechanism), while the second track included three issues: the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts; response measures; and the outcome decision (decision 1/CP.25).


But as the day wore on, while negotiations continued among parties delegates expressed concern both at the number of unresolved issues, along with many divergent positions on each issue, while some suggested the conference “might fail altogether,” considering that no agreement was in sight. Outside the venue Extinction Rebellion labelled the meeting “another lost opportunity.”

Friday 13 December, 2019

#COP25 - Day 11: Impending 

The pace of the Chile/Madrid Climate Change slowed for many delegates, even though the COP is a day away from (purportedly) concluding. Parties-only consultations continued on several issues.


  • A stocktaking session gave all delegates an opportunity to catch up on closed-door discussions. Ministers provided updates, with varying level of detail, on the negotiations on: 

  • Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms);

  • Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM);

  • Response measures; and

  • The outcome decisions for this meeting. In other words, Day 10 redux.


For issues under the auspice of the COP Presidency, namely the periodic review of the long-term global goal, gender, and the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), the COP President was clear that these should be agreed to by the evening. When plenary convened in the evening, some issues had been finalised. The COP adopted decisions, including on the terms of reference for the CGE. Decisions forwarded from the subsidiary bodies on Monday, 9 December were adopted, as were procedural decisions. So what will get resolved on the last day? Whatever does eventuate will be without the input of Minister Taylor as he left the negotiations during the day.

Thursday 12 December 2019

#COP25 - Day 10: The COP has 2 faces

A series of high-level events comprised the public-facing side of the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference on Wednesday.


A High-level Event on Climate Emergency started the day, moderated by High-level Climate Champion Gonzalo Muñoz. Panelists included scientist Johan Rockström, Minister Teresa Ribera, Spain, and civil society leaders Jennifer Morgan and Greta Thunberg. Together, they highlighted urgent messages from climate science and called for “true leadership” and “urgent transformations.” Behind closed doors, ministers and negotiators held tepid discussions on Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms) - although it is apparently going better than expected, loss and damage, gender, and the periodic review of the long-term global goal.


Yet the other side of the public discourse is anger bristling through venue hallways and onto the streets. Civil society disrupted the COP proceedings through a mass protest and sit-in on a scale never before seen in the process. They called on developed countries to “step up and pay up,” echoing the calls of some delegates for an “honest stocktake” of pre-2020 ambition The divide between optimism and outrage is now palpable.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

#COP25 - Day 9: Politics.

With Ministers arriving their task ahead, they are being put straight to work to find resolution on:

  • Article 6 (market and non-market approaches);

  • Review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) is yet to be discussed;

  • The Outcome decision of the conference; and

  • Response measures, which will be discussed in consultations led by ministers, but no date has yet been set.


In the afternoon, the COP Presidency convened another high-level ministerial dialogue, this time on adaptation ambition. Ministers from Japan, Botswana, Fiji, Uruguay, and the Netherlands, among others, presented on their countries’ efforts to build adaptation ambition, discussing: the use of nature-based solutions; climate finance for developing countries; as well as lessons learned. The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action also held events throughout the day. Roundtables convened on circular economy principles in the construction and packaging sectors, while other participants also discussed resilience and SDG 7.


Australia meanwhile continues to be in the spotlight at the COP, not necessarily because of its ambition and action. Look out for how the cross cutting issues of human rights and gender emerge.

Tuesday  8 December 2019 

#COP25 - Day 8: Transition.

We move from Week 1 with the Negotiators to Week 2 with the Ministers. Article 6 (cooperative approaches), transparency, and finance discussions continued throughout the day. The big event of the day was the Chilean COP Presidency’s meeting with ministers of finance to amplify the Santiago Action Plan (the Plan).


Originally launched in April 2019, at the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting, the Plan aims to catalyse high-level support for mainstreaming climate action in economic policy. At the meeting the finance ministers discussed their role in enhancing countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The importance of finance ministers to climate action was clear: as UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “if you lead, others will follow.”


Connecting the dots between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participants during during a session on the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action discussed how collaboration between state and non-state actors can help realize climate action, and also SDGs 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 14 (Life under Water), and 15 (Life on Land). #tiempodeactuar #sdg7 #unfccc

Sunday 8 December, 2019

#COP25 - Day 6 update: Breaking from the UNFCCC Bubble 

The Conference officially concluded its first week on Friday, but delegates continue to work to address outstanding issues on loss and damage, technology, and transparency.


Negotiators have been concentrating on the means of implementation for the Agreement. Focus also shifted to finance for climate action on the ground. A proposal to establish the “Santiago Network on Addressing Loss and Damage” fuelled debates about how best to “break from the UNFCCC bubble” to foster the collaboration of experts from both within and beyond the Convention. They are also expected to have “clean,” or agreed, decisions to consider for national adaptation plans and the Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer.


But. Delegates were unable to find agreement on common time frames and agriculture. And the next iteration on the Article 6 (market and non-market mechanisms) text has now been postponed until 9 December. This issue is expected to go to ministers.


Workshops on energy, transport, and human settlements, under the (WBCSD led) Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action emphasised the important role of science, with many speakers highlighting how to foster credible, science-based and profitable solutions.


Saturday 7 December, 2019

#COP25 - Day 5 update: Nothing.

That's the pronouncement of progress at Chile/Madrid by Greta Thunberg, UNFCCC ExSec Patricia Espinosa and the #COP25 President. Proof Point? Countries failed to reach even agreement on how long future climate pledges should last. The issue is one of the last remaining pieces of the Paris “rulebook” to be agreed. The issue is now unlikely to be resolved at this year’s talks.


Australia was one of the countries arguing to push the common timeframe talks out as far as 2023. But that’s not their priority at COP25, writes Richie Merzian from the Australia Institute. What they really want, he says, is for other governments to ignore the fact Australia is the ONLY country planning to use credits carried over from the Kyoto Protocol to meet it Paris Agreement goals.


What's ahead? Saturday and Sunday are the Business and Industry days while Monday sees the imminent arrival of ministers, including Minister Angus Taylor which, many hope, could provide the remaining push to unblock ground-level holdups. #timeforaction

Friday 6 December, 2019

#COP25 - Day 4 update: Legacy. 

Negotiations continued on transparency, finance, loss and damage, and Article 6 (cooperative approaches). How will the Parties progress Loss & Damage negotiations when deep divisions remain, especially on finance. On Transparency, how will the Paris Agreement’s future national reporting system work, especially for developing country (BCSDA view: look to the robustness, credibility and transparency of NGERS?).


On Cooperative Approaches the Participants at the informal consultations have become so large number that had to be moved to one of the vast Plenary rooms. The COP Presidency’s held a dialogue encouraging countries to leverage forests to reduce emissions and build resilience through their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Latin American countries were involved in the discussions, and Chile announced it would double its reforestation target in its forthcoming NDC.


And in a roundtable with businesses, farmers, and international organizations the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action discussed agri-food chains. Mary Stewart from Energetics held a Side Event with @climateactive at the Climate Action Hub talking with Chile, Costa Rica and the @UNFCCC about voluntary carbon management and climate action by the private sector.

Thursday 5 December, 2019


#COP25 - Day 3 update: Stocktake.

Parties reviewed the work of the UNFCCC related to mitigation efforts, and supporting enhancing implementation and ambition. Sobering was assessment. Civil society decried a lost decade of mitigation and climate finance efforts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) held an event to better understand the IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land, released earlier in the year.


The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action also took a stocktake on climate action as it launched the 2019 Yearbook of Global Climate Action. It documents the state of action taken by non-party stakeholders – businesses, cities and regions, and civil society. It reveals that these actors, often in collaboration with countries, are increasingly delivering on initiatives that can help close the emissions gap. But, challenges remain to scale up the potential of non-state climate action. That’s a government role.


Art 6 moves apace, particularly after the Parties began using different forums of engagement from the ‘informal-informal’ (don’t ask!). Oh, and Australia won a Dinosaur of the Day Award as well. #timeforaction #parisagreement #sdg13

Wednesday 4 December, 2019


Update - Day 2: What’s interesting about this COP is that with many issues already settled in the Katowice (COP24) Rulebook, so the smaller set of issues being negotiated are subject to greater scrutiny. Delegates have been meeting to address on discrete issues, including finance, technology, as well as loss and damage. Heads of delegation also met in closed door sessions to discuss cooperative approaches (Article 6). Difficult discussions on climate finance were also debated. Meanwhile the Chilean Presidency shone a spotlight on key cross-cutting issues relevant to Australia. Informal dialogue on the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP), was held in which several speakers highlighted the role of traditional knowledge and the need to include a range of perspectives in supporting climate action. Also launched was the Platform for Science-Based Ocean Solutions to create a community of practice to share lessons, encourage concrete policies, and facilitate access to resources and solutions for the ocean. Practical advice also emerged from the workshop on the #Koronivia joint work on agriculture on ways to improve nutrient use and manure management.

Tuesday 3 December, 2019

Update - Day 1: Opening Statements, Roundtables on Climate Ambition, and a mass of work ahead.

The UN opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid attended by over 29,000, which had been been moved from Chile due to protests. As world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming the conference aims to lay the final pieces of groundwork needed to support the 2015 Paris agreement to tackle climate change, which enters a crucial implementation phase next year. Australia, in its opening statement, for the UMBRELLA GROUP, stressed the need for Article 6 rules to facilitate markets and enhance ambition.

Monday 2 December, 2019

BCSD Australia supports “simple but rigorous” Article 6 rules at COP25

The Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia joined a number of business organisations from around the world in the call for “simple but rigorous” set of rules governing international emissions trading at COP25, which starts today in Madrid.

The call was led by the International Emission Trading Association (IETA) which has published a paper setting out the benefits of international emissions trading under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement which has been supported by no fewer than 15 international and national business, industry and climate associations, including BCSD Australia.

Read the full media release here.

Read coverage of this news in the Australian Financial Review.

Monday 2 December, 2019, 11am AEDT

Delegates from around the world will convene Monday in Madrid for the start climate change negotiations.


This follows a major UN report that shows the goal of holding climate change at 1.5°C above pre-industrial average temperatures - the threshold at which climate change becomes catastrophic - is almost impossible. One of the main matters of debate will be setting rules for international carbon markets, one of the few internationally coordinated efforts to contain climate change.


In summary, the Madrid meeting will determine how, or whether, the promises of the Paris Agreement will be turned into action. COP25 provides an crucial opportunity for the global business community to come together and support ambitious climate action. BCSDA is committed to supporting its members to bring this message of ambition at the highest level during the negotiations. So stay tuned for our regular updates during COP25.

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