Seldom have observers been so united in their assessment of the results of a climate conference: the COP in Madrid under Chile's presidency did not bring any progress in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
And this despite the fact that there has never been so much pressure from outside: the scientific findings are increasingly comprehensive and precise, the changes visible - glaciers melting, number and damage caused by extreme events increasing - and the movement of young people such as "Fridays for Future" louder than ever before. It seems that with rising pressure, the resistance of those who don't want to act is also increasing. This becomes evident when we see the behaviour of governments such as the USA or Brazil, even wanting to get out of the negotiation process.
Part of the problem lies within the Paris Agreement, on which so many hopes are pinned. Very flexible, it allows each country to set its own climate reduction targets and to decide for itself on how to achieve them. This weakness was evident in Madrid: one of the most important discussions was about criteria for emissions trading - belief in the market as a solution is still alive. Another problem is that so far no country or group of countries is taking a real leadership role. The "New Green Deal" of the EU Commission is still too general to set international impulses. In addition, the Brexit discussions are still in the foreground in Europe.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that actors with ambitious targets are supported in their efforts. Above all, cities, municipalities and regions continue to be a driving force for the implementation of their climate protection goals and need the support of both the national and EU level, through adequate framework conditions and efficient financing instruments. Similarly, indigenous peoples and their lands must receive greater recognition and support for their efforts to preserve their territories and sustainable lifestyles. After all, the deforestation rates are much lower in the 2 million km2 of indigenous territories (approx. 1%) compared to areas outside of them.