COP25 in Madrid: on a path towards “blue” measures?

© François Aurat / Fondation Tara Océan

When Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced on 30 October that COP25 would not go forward in Santiago as planned, there was a scramble to reschedule it. After all, the latest science about dramatic changes in both the Ocean and Climate confirms we have no time to waste in moving forward with an ambitious international agenda.

Teresa-Ribera-10042019-2Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for the Ecological Transition © Rémi Parmentier / Because the Ocean

Just one day later the Spanish government offered to host the conference in partnership with Chile, adhering to the original timetable (2-13 December). And just one day after that, the UNFCCC Bureau accepted this generous offer. Such decisions are generally taken on a geological timescale (okay, perhaps this is an exaggeration, but these things normally do take a lot of time); the rapid re-boot of COP25 is a testament to the strength of the international climate policy regime.

Chile was already a strong advocate for addressing the nexus between Ocean and climate change, designating COP25 as “the Blue COP.” And with Spain as a partner, that commitment just got stronger.

Of the five Ocean-Climate workshops held under the auspices of Because the Ocean from 2016-2019, two were hosted by Chile (2018) and one by Spain (2019) – both original signatories of the Because the Ocean Declaration at its launch in Paris in 2015. COP25 President Carolina Schmidt, Environment Minister of Chile, and Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition, will be powerful advocates and allies for action to increase Ocean resiliency

In her preamble to the Ocean for Climate report published a month ago by the Because the Ocean initiative, Carolina Schmidt wrote: “As a leading member of the Because the Ocean initiative, together with the Principality of Monaco and other countries, during and beyond COP25 — the “Blue COP” — Chile will continue to prioritize action to mitigate both climate change and Ocean change.”

The Because the Ocean Secretariat is based in Madrid, and looks forward to continue working with Chile and Spain, and supporting Parties and stakeholders towards a successful Blue COP.

Rémi Parmentier, director of The Varda Group and Secretariat Coordinator of the Because The Ocean initiative.

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