Letters from Madrid

by Henrique Schneider*

The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, is the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is being held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019 under the presidency of the Chilean government. The conference incorporates the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Henrique Schneider is on site and represents Switzerland …

Dear friends of the climate

It is again that time of the year… no, I am not talking about Christmas, or Chanukah, or any new-age nonsense. I am talking about the ultimate ritual that puts any Confucian to pale, the United Nations’ climate summit.

Well, technically, it is the conjunction of the following meetings:
COP 25: 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
CMP 15: 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol
CMA 2: second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement.
Of course, these meetings have their own bodies, subsidiary bodies, agencies, working groups, platforms, and so on, of which all are meeting, too.

After a hiatus of two years, Switzerland decided to have me back on their official delegation. The reason is simple: this time, it is make-or-break for so-called carbon-markets and Switzerland wants to broker the compromise. This is not the fruit of the love for the earth but the outcome of Swiss realizing that they need international cooperation if they really want to achieve the sublime degree of carbon neutrality. Of course, I don’t partage the Swiss position, but it is my role to watch over a minimal economic realism…
… I mean, as far as realism in a synthetic market can go.

The interesting thing about this conference, however, is not its content – it never is – but its location, Madrid. The COP was supposed to take place in Chile. But since there seem to be unpleasant situations in Chile and climate negotiators need pleasure to advance in their pursuits, the summit has been moved to Madrid.
Officially, the COP is called: COP25 Chile, Madrid 2019. What does that mean? The Chilean made it. Finally. After taking some off Bolivia and a mountainous lake off Argentina, they decided to appropriate Madrid, former of Spain. I suppose that now Catalunya can sneak into freedom / independence / doom (depending on the cosmology of the observer).

More on Markets in Madrid to follow.

*Henrique Schneider is a professor of economics at the Nordkademie University of Applied Sciences in Elmshorn, Germany and chief economist of the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Bern, Switzerland.