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Future Earth Has Major Impacts at COP25 in Madrid

From major launches for the global media, to scientific reports for climate negotiators and virtual seminars organized by early career researchers, Future Earth’s presence at the UNFCCC COP25 conference in Madrid was its strongest in years.

On December 6, the 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2019 was launched by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. The report summarizes recent advances in climate research across disciplines and is based on the scientific expertise of many of our Global Research Projects and Knowledge Action Networks. The Future Earth National Committees have helped distribute the report to national delegations, while the UNFCCC distributed it electronically to negotiators at the conference.

This year’s 10 New Insights has particular focus on equity and equality, health, impacts on the most vulnerable, and social tipping points.

It was a sign of the report’s importance within the policy community that the launch event was attended by both Espinosa and the Chilean Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Minister Andrés Couve, from the COP25 presidential council, with news agencies like Reuters covering the presentation.

This is now the third annual edition of the report and the aim is for the 10 New Insights to become a regular annual event for the UNFCCC conference.

Left to right: Johan Rockström, Patricia Espinosa, Wendy Broadgate, Brian Hoskins, and Erik Pihl, at the press conference for the 10 New Climate Insights 2019.
Johan Rockström, Patricia Espinosa, Wendy Broadgate, and Erik Pihl present the 10 New Climate Insights 2019 at COP25 in Madrid on December 6, 2019.

A Future Earth Animation Goes Viral

The Global Carbon Project made huge fanfare with its launch of its global emissions data, with the report making headlines with the likes of the BBC, New York Times, and Washington Post.

A short animation on cumulative CO2 emissions by Future Earth and the Global Carbon Project chalked up more than 2 million views, was published by the BBC, and received a comment from Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project speaks at a side event about the 2019 Global Carbon Budget in Madrid.
Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project speaks with many members of the media at COP25.

Future Earth Goes Virtual

Early career professionals organized the Virtual Blue COP25, a 24-hour virtual event with participants from all around the world, held on the Ocean Day, December 7. Decision-makers, scientists, activists, artists, and NGOs shared their work for the COP25 from their home countries to a diverse audience. The 24-hour event also provided insights and updates on the international climate-ocean negotiations at COP25 with real-time discussion and analyses among a wide group of participants. This event was shaped as a succession of more than 15 virtual live-events, available on Youtube, of one hour each from all around the globe.

#VirtualCOP25 fulfilled two missions: it showed that virtual communication is easy to implement and invited its more than 450 viewers to ramp up efforts to participate in global events without emitting carbon through flights. Second, it spread knowledge on ocean and climate sustainability issues worldwide, with only an Internet connection at hand, thanks to more than twenty webinars available on a single platform.

The virtual events were entirely led and organized by early career professionals. Learn more about the Virtual Blue COP25 website and on their YouTube channel.

Organizers and presenters of Virtual Blue COP25.

Future Earth Gets Mentioned

Johan Rockström spoke at COP25 in Madrid on December 11, along with Greta Thunberg, about the recent United in Science, 10 New Insights in Climate Science, and the Exponential Roadmap reports — all of which Future Earth has led the production of, contributed to, and/or supported. Watch his speech at about 3 minutes.

“We stand on unprecedented mountain of proof to the IPCC special reports on land, oceans, the IPBES global assessment, the WMO-led United in Science report, which was presented at Antonio Guterres’ climate summit in September, and then we have the 10 New Insights in Climate Science that we presented earlier this week to all the delegates here in Madrid with the ‘must knows’ in science over the past year.”

“We will push this scientifically towards the UN general assembly in 2020. What’s the purpose? To create panic? Of course not. It is to unleash transformation and an emergence plan towards a safe and just climate future. We have this plan. The scientific community has presented an exponential roadmap showing that we can bend the global curve of emissions 2020, and cut emissions by half by 2030 with existing technologies under current economy. We can and the window is open, but barely. It’s time to act.”

Johan Rockström speaks to the assembly at COP25 in Madrid on December 11, 2019.

Future Earth Gets Interviewed

Our own Sophie Hebden, Future Earth ESA Liaison, was featured on the BBC News short, “COP25 climate change conference: What are you giving up for environment?” which asked delegates from all over the world how they were adapting their lives for the sake of the environment. Watch the full video here.

Sophie Hebden speaks with press at COP25.