Fiddling while the planet burns? COP25 in perspective

Posted on 18 February 2020

With fires, storms, social protests, and climate strikes sweeping the world, 2019 should have been a tipping point in how the world responds to global heating. This was the backdrop to the COP25 climate change summit which took place in Madrid in December 2019. This paper assesses the outcomes of the meeting and the path towards the critically important meeting in Glasgow at the end of 2020. It analyses and explains the key points of contention over levels of ambition, the rules which should govern global carbon markets and sensitive issues such as loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change. The analysis is situated within a broader geopolitical and economic context of right-wing populism, deepening forms of marketization and financialization of responses to climate change and against a background of a world increasingly feeling the effects of the climate crisis.

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Peter Newell (Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex and Research Director of the Rapid Transition Alliance) and Olivia Taylor (Doctoral Researcher at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex) reflect on the outcomes of COP25 in an article in the journal Globalizations.

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