The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP25, is opening in Madrid, Spain, today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 14 other Democratic lawmakers are part of a delegation to the summit. It was supposed to be held in Santiago, Chile, but the Chilean government canceled the conference amid massive protests against economic inequality and austerity. Ahead of the summit’s opening, scientists released a number of reports warning that only drastic and unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. May Boeve, the head of 350.org, said the reports show “the science is screaming.” This is U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres speaking ahead of the conference’s opening today.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “What is still lacking is political will, political will to put a price on carbon, political will to stop subsidies on fossil fuels, political will to stop building coal power plants from 2020 onwards, political will to shift taxation from income to carbon, taxing pollution instead of people. We simply have to stop digging and drilling, and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions.”
On Friday, hundreds of thousands of students walked out of schools across the world and took to the streets to demand urgent action to address the climate crisis. On Saturday, thousands of activists also protested at three coal mines in eastern Germany. And in Pakistan, Amnesty International has issued an unprecedented “urgent action” saying Lahore’s 10 million residents are at risk of having their health and human rights violated by hazardous smog that is engulfing Pakistan’s second-largest city. Democracy Now! will be broadcasting live from COP25 in Madrid, Spain, next week.