The German delegation has dampened widespread climate activists’ hopes that a large number of countries will use the COP25 in Madrid to announce more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.
“I don’t believe there will be a wave of countries increasing their ambitions,” state secretary Jochen Flasbarth of Germany’s environment ministry said during a briefing with reference to the extensive discussions required at the national level before such a step could be announced. But he added that several countries might be ready to press ahead. “We’ll see if a momentum for a vanguard group can be created,” Flasbarth said. Countries will have to step up their climate ambitions in the run-up to the 2020 COP in Glasgow if the rise in global temperatures is to remain below 2 degrees, and many NGOs hope to see first committments in Madrid.
Increasing ambitions still requires more negotiations at the European level, because new EU targets would have to be translated into concrete actions at the national level, a step that particularly Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are still wary of, Flasbarth said. He added that an EU communiqué on Wednesday, as well as the European Council meeting on Thursday might be used to clarify the situation.