COP 25: Time For Action is Now!

Date: 13 December 2019

COP 25: Time For Action is Now!
By Emmanuelle Makunga
YMCA France

I’m Emmanuelle Makunga, volunteer, board member of YMCA France and communications officer of YMCA’s Resource Group of the Environment (RGE). I was lucky participating to the COP25 in Madrid from 9-13 December 2019. It’s not my first COP, but the first time in the “blue zone”, zone of negotiations.

COP 25 takes place in crucial moment for the concrete application of the Paris Agreement, taken by parties in 2015 during the COP21 to set goals for a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming below 1.5°C.

If I had one word to describe these negotiations it would be “insufficient”. Parties are not doing enough to achieve their goals for protecting people’s lives. UN Secretary General António Guterres said, “Youth leadership contrasts with governments inaction.”

These negotiations are an example that we keep failing regarding the urgency of the problem. We have economic and technical means to tackle climate change, but the political will to be strong, bold, and ambitious is missing. Governments need to stop funding on fossil fuels and should tax pollution instead of people, put a price of carbon and stop playing games with the 2050 carbon neutrality deadline. We need more ambitious national commitments.

Tougher targets are needed to fulfil the Paris goals. Rich countries need to support the poorer countries to make the changes needed for the planet and for humanity. Climate change is a health, gender, human rights issue that impact your brother, your sister, your father, your mother, your friend, your neighbour, all of humanity.

We can create an economy which is sustainable and ethical if governments, economic stakeholders and consumers are working together for a sustainable future. I believe nothing is already lost. We can still make the necessary changes. It’s only about human will.

In every social fight, like the movement for civil rights, gender equality, or LGBT rights, progress always seems impossible until it becomes reality.

I encourage every young person to play their part and to make their voice heard about the climate emergency to your family, friends, employers, and politicians. We have all a role to play. Keep the hope and the actions with YMCA.

COP25 was the last before countries have to submit enhanced national climate action plans in 2020. I was overwhelmed by the excitement of being here to represent World YMCA and young people around the globe. It is very important for young people to participate in the international decision-making process and to make young people’s voices heard.


Thanks to World YMCA, the RGE and YMCA family especially YMCA Spain for making this possible.