The Paris Agreement asks governments to strengthen their contributions, and set out goals for 2050, by the end of 2020. This COP is an opportunity for countries to come out ahead of 2020 with their improved goals to reduce GHG emissions, or to declare their intention to do so in 2020 at COP26. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is expected to attend, helping to bring the media spotlight to this critical moment on the international path to achieving the Paris goals.
The venue, in Chile, will put a spotlight on countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. Chile is responsible of 0.25% of global emissions, but it ranks among the top 10 countries most affected by climate change, according to a 2017 global risk report.
The time for action is now. Chile's Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt reminded us that efforts to stem climate change and develop economies should not follow separate tracks. Sustainable development requires environmental protection, and that requires both mitigation of climate change and adaptation to its existing effects.