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UNESCO's contribution to Climate COP25

The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP 25, is taking place in Madrid, Spain, on 02-13 December. Bringing together governments, NGOs, UN organizations, experts and the private sector, COP 25 is an opportunity to agree on a decisive, ambitious way forward. The conference is designed to take the next crucial steps towards the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The conference furthermore serves to build ambition ahead of 2020, the year in which countries have committed to submit new and updated national climate action plans. Crucial climate action work will be taken forward in areas including finance, the transparency of climate action, forests and agriculture, technology, capacity building, loss and damage, indigenous peoples, cities, the ocean and gender. 

Currently, not enough is being done to meet the three climate goals: reducing emissions 45 per cent by 2030; achieving climate neutrality by 2050 (which means a net zero carbon footprint), and stabilizing global temperature rise at 1.5°C by the end of the century. Because the clock is ticking on climate change, UNESCO is putting its expertise at the service of Member States and working in close synergy with the overall UN system to enable bold, effective climate action.


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Main UNESCO Events AT COP 25


Thursday 5 December

Incorporating Indigenous and Local Knowledge into Climate Change Adaptation policies and practices in ACP regions
EUROCLIMA PAVILION, Building 8, IFEMA - Organized by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and EUROCLIM

Friday 06 December

Just Add Water: Solutions for the 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and beyond
UNFCCC side event of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. Coordinating and participating agencies: UNESCO; Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); French Water Partnership; Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAFWAC); International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI); World Water Council. 

IFEMA Madrid Action for Climate Empowerment: how to scale-up climate education and training at global level
Novotel - Organized by the “The Climate Collage association” (Fresque du Climat association)

Ocean and Coastal Zones Action Day 
Room 6 

Saturday 07 December

Capacity Hub’s Local Government and Cities Day. "City-level: capacity-building for resilience"
Coordinating and participating agencies are: UNESCO, SDU, BLOXHUB, ICLEI, UN HABITAT, UNDRR, WWF, GIZ, Gerics, ICCCAD. 

UN Oceans : Raising Ambition on Climate and the Ocean 
Room 6 

City-level capacity-building for climate action
Coordinating and participating agencies are: UNESCO, FFL, CDKN. 

13:00 to 15:00 
NAP Technical Working Group 
The NAP Technical Working Group provides technical guidance and support to the Least Developed Countriess in the formulation and implementation of NAPs and other related adaptation efforts under the Convention and the Paris Agreement 

Monday 09 December

One UN for Climate-Compatible Cities: City Climate Action! Activating the potential of settlements for low-carbon and resilient nations (SDG 11) 
Room 5 
Coordinating and participating agencies are: UNESCO, UN-HABITAT, WB, UNEP, UNU.

Changing Minds, Not the Climate – UNESCO Designated Sites, Education and Youth for Enhanced Ambition
Civil society area (Green Zone) - Organized by UNESCO
Launch of UNESCO Youth Climate Action Network YoU-CAN

UN Nature-Based Solutions on the ground (SDG15): UN support to people and landscapes 
Room 1 
Coordinating and participating agencies: FAO, UNEP, UNESCO, UN-REDD, UNU; along with Mountain Partnership, Mountain Research Initiative, OHCHR, SCBD, UN Partners (indigenous peoples and local community representatives); UNCCD, IUCN, UNDRR, WMO, and IPCC. 

Tuesday 10 December

Side event organized by Greece on the consequences of climate change on cultural heritage
EU Pavilion 

Raising ambition and fostering implementation of the Paris Agreement through education, training, public awareness, public access to information, public participation and international cooperation
Blue Zone - Organized by UNFCCC and UNESCO in collaboration with the COP Presidency.
High-level event on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), bringing together ministers of environment and education

Roundtable 'SDG6 Water' on SDG 6 and climate action

16:45 – 18:15
UN-WATER Side Event: Climate-resilient Water Management Approaches
Room I (IFEMA- Feria de Madrid)  
UNESCO is co-coordinator of the UN-WATER expert group water and climate. Organizers: UNESCO (lead) UNECE, WMO, UNDP, UNU-INWEH, UNCCD, ESCWA, SIWI, AGWA, WWC, GWP, FWP, ILO, WHO, IOM, OHCHR, UNICEF, CBD, IWMI, UN – HABITAT, RAMSAR, IAHS 

Wednesday 11 December

Exhibit booth on Climate Change Education and Training
UN Booth number 2 on SDG 4- Education (whole day on 11 and 12 December)  

Biosphere Reserve Youth: Opportunities for the fight against climate change 
At Abertis Foundation premises (Paseo de la Castellana, 39, Madrid) 

Mountains, Glaciers and Snow 
At the Cryosphere Pavillion 

African Islands' leadership on ocean, climate and Sustainable Development Goals  
Blue Zone, Room 1
Participating countries and organizations: Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Mauricius, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, UNESCO, African Union, Green Climate Fund, Africa Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa, FAO, Global Environment Facility, IFAD

Source to Sea and Climate Action
At the SDG Pavilion  

Side-event on Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change

Organized by the Spanish Ministry of Education 

Droughts in the Anthropocene
At the SDG Pavilion, IFEMA  

Thursday 12 December

Exhibit booth on Climate Change Education and Training
UN Booth number 2 on SDG 4- Education (whole day on 11 and 12 December)  

Changing Minds, Not the Climate – Science, Knowledge systems and Ethics for Enhanced Ambition and resilience 
At the Green zone, Mare Nostrum 

Abertis Colloquium on the importance of public-private partnership as a model of alliance 

Learning for Climate Action - Implementing the Paris Agreement through Education, Training and Skills Development
Blue Zone, Room 3 -  ONE UN side event 

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UNESCO Exhibition


Our Biosphere, Our Future
Local actions for the Sustainable Development Goals

04-13 December, Paseo la Castellana, Madrid

This exhibition showcases how biosphere reserves around the world play a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing local solutions to global challenges, such as climate change. The 32 panels, available in English and Spanish, show, for example, how UNESCO and its biosphere reserves are working on poverty alleviation in Ghana, ensuring turtle conservation and food security in the Bolivian Amazon, and empowering women in Morocco through better work opportunities in the Argan oil production.

The exhibition was developed by UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme with the kind support of the Abertis Foundation. It will be installed in the Paseo La Castellana, one of the main avenues in Madrid.
A press conference will be organized with Abertis, the Spanish Government and UNESCO representatives.

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What is COP 25?

The Climate Conference known as COP25, is the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is tasked with making sure that the Convention, and now the 2015 Paris Agreement, which strengthens the Convention, are being implemented. Today, 197 countries are parties to the treaty. Every year since the treaty entered into force in 1994, a “conference of the parties”, or COP, has been held to discuss how to move forward. Madrid will hold the 25th COP, therefore COP25.
Because the UNFCCC had non-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries, and no enforcement mechanism, various extensions to this treaty were negotiated during recent COPs, including most recently the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, in which all countries agreed to step up efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures and boost climate action financing.

COP25 is designed to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process. Following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP 24 in Poland last year, a key objective is to complete several matters with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. 

The 2019 Climate Change Conference will feature the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, the 15th session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 15), the second session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 2), and the 51st sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 51) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51). It was originally scheduled to convene from 2-13 December 2019, in Santiago, Chile.


Go to: Main events | Exhibitions | Resources | What is COP 25?