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If climate change is the defining issue of the century, the UN conference in Madrid failed miserably in galvanising action to address it. Elaborate.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

2. If climate change is the defining issue of the century, the UN conference in Madrid failed miserably in galvanising action to address it. Elaborate.(250 words)

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Why this question:

At COP 25 in Madrid, the countries party to the Paris Agreement failed to agree on rules and procedures to govern a global carbon market, on finance for losses caused by extreme weather events, on meeting the commitments made before the agreement and on raising their ambitions. The final declaration was desultory, merely expressing serious concern at the emissions gap in seeking to limit temperature increase to 1.5° C.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss the reasons for failure of the COP25 meeting and the implications of failures of the talks on the planet Earth as well as the developing and small nations.


Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


One can start off with the quoting the various facts of climate change using the scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning of near-certain catastrophic consequences of inaction, and an analysis from the UN Environment Programme on the gap between current greenhouse gas emissions and the limit over the coming decade.


Discuss in brief the challenges faced due to climate change effects.

  • the real losses from extreme weather events that climate-vulnerable countries, India included, are facing with frightening regularity.
  • even insured losses worldwide during 2017 and 2018 together stood at a record $225 billion

       Now, discuss the various reasons for the failure of the COP25 talks.

  • unproductive wrangle over establishing a market system to trade in carbon credits earned through reductions in emissions, with some countries eager to cash in on poorly audited emissions savings from the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol that preceded the Paris pact
  • the divergence between the developed and developing countries grew over the course of two weeks as the developed world – led by the US – blocked any attempt at a compromise using a ‘take it or leave it approach’.
  • Developed countries also refused to relent on the question losses suffered by developing countries due to climate impact.

       What are the implications of the failure of talks?

       What are the measures needed to overcome?


Conclude with a way forward.