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After two weeks of negotiations, the States failed to reach a consensus that would significantly increase the measures taken before COP 26 and define new rules following the Kyoto Protocol. Nevertheless, there was some progress.

The COP25 on climate, which ended on December 15, had been moved to Madrid when protests made the conference untenable in Chile.  Two main topics were on the agenda: the rulebook for implementing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (designed to take over from the Kyoto Protocol’s carbon-credit system) and the call for countries to revise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) upward before the end of 2020.

No comprehensive result was achieved for either measure. As the final wording of Article 6 was rejected by the United States, Brazil and Australia, negotiations will continue in 2020, in preparation for COP26.


Losses and damage from climate change were also a key topic of the COP, in particular the financing available to respond to climate risks. The Green Climate Fund was called on to address this issue. The aim is to minimize, avoid, and finally compensate for losses and damage caused in the countries most at risk. The same applies to long-term finance, i.e. reaching the 100 billion per year promised in Copenhagen in 2009.

On the other hand, the majority of the States and non-state actors present recognized the importance of systematically including oceans and biodiversity in the upcoming negotiations in 2020. The IPCC report on the ocean and cryosphere has been officially taken into account. This aspect was one of Chile’s main objectives when preparing for COP25, to create some momentum for the “super year 2020” and its key milestones (IUCN Congress in June and COP15 in Kunming in October). 

A new five-year action plan on gender was also adopted. It focuses on women’s leadership in the fight against climate change and women’s access to green financing.

3And where do AFD and IDFC come in?

The members and partners of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), chaired by AFD, hosted and organized 26 events at the event in Madrid. The COP saw, for example, the official launch of the IDFC Climate Facility, the Club’s first operational instrument.

December’s event was also an opportunity for AFD to speak out on subjects not usually dealt with at such major international climate change events, such as nature-based solutions and biodiversity. AFD was also able to highlight its positive results on climate change, energy transition strategy, its actions for oceans and nature, the role of national and regional development banks, the Adapt’Action and 2050 Facilities, and the significance of its partnership with the Green Fund.

4And now what?

Several key partners were sounded out about organizing a summit on the role of development banks, an idea that IDFC had proposed at the September climate summit in New York. This summit could be held in November 2020, on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum. Its objective would be to bring together development finance institutions and their ecosystem stakeholders (governments, regulators, the private sector, civil society, etc.). Its agenda would include reflection and proposals on their role in guiding the transformation of their economies towards development paths that are sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient and socially just.

The mixed results of the Madrid negotiations add to expectations for COP26, to be held in Glasgow from November 9 to 20, 2020. NGOs and civil society will heighten pressure on governments to be more ambitious and do more to meet the challenges of climate change.

AFD and all public development banks have a crucial role to play in pushing everyone to align with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).