THE lack of seriousness displayed by the larger countries at the conclusion of the COP25 in Madrid proves that the next generation - their concerns aptly represented by the young student activist Greta Thunberg - has every right to be angry at world leaders for not doing enough to slow down the catastrophic impact of climate change.

Even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the final declaration passed at the end of the climate conference as ''disappointing''. He asserted : ''The international community has lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaption and finances to tackle the climate crisis.''

According to the reports, bigger countries including the US, Brazil, China, Australia and Saudi Arabia, refrained from pledging on greenhouse gas emissions, a pivotal step towards slowing down the increase.

Hence the participants of the summit were only able to pass a feeble declaration calling for ''urgent action'' - a cliche of sorts that has become synonymous with the conversation around climate change, in the absence of concrete steps.

The lacklustre response is especially worrying because the Madrid talks were expected to gauge the progress on targets of the Paris Climate Accord, 2015, the most important ones relating to cutting down carbon emissions.

However, the resistance of bigger countries means that the progress on reducing emissions can be could either be stymied or even reversed, while more vulnerable countries including Pakistan and the Philippines continue to pay the ultimate price.

On the other hand, EU countries last week signed the Green Deal in Brussels, aimed at zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Whether or not efforts made under this agreement are enough to soften the devastating impact of the global temperature rise remains to be seen.

A recent report by the World Meteorological Organization contains revelations
of how close we are to witnessing our own extinction as a civilisation. The world does need more promises, as Greta Thunberg said at the UN. It needs action, and it needs it now.

The World Students Society thanks Dawn.


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