Madrid hosts a new edition of the UN Conference on Climate Change with the demanding goal of limiting the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On the firm basis of its bet on sustainability, Banco Santander sponsors COP25.
Fortunately, every year there are less people to convince that climate change exists, that it has come to stay and that, even though there is still time, there are fewer and fewer options to not stop but soften its devastating consequences. Simply, the reading of one of these reasons should be enough to act immediately. According to the World Bank, if we don’t take urgent and specific measures, the impact of climate change could cause the poverty of 100 million more people in 2030, which means, just after tomorrow.
This should be enough to make us get to work and alter the worldwide policies that have been carried out to date, because we also could talk about the melting of glaciers, hurricanes becoming more dangerous, the heat waves that make us sweat exceeding the limits of our bodies, or about some diseases that will reach unknown limits. According to the World Health Organization, climate change provokes fear, sadness and anxiety.
When did everything start? Until now, it was believed that this period of disproportionate growth of temperatures and the extremism of specific meteorological constraints had started around a century ago. However, an article published in the magazine Nature delays the date up to around 1830, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution. Even though there have always been sudden alterations over the course of the history of the planet, only from this moment has human action had such a decisive influence.
Scientists across the world warned over the last century that something serious was happening, but this alarm was not seriously taken into account. Al least, up to the early 90s. The Framework Convention of the UN on Climate Change was adopted on the 9thof May 1992 and it officially went into force on the 21stof March 1994. It has been 25 years from that moment, and this is the reason of accompanying the acronym COP with the number 25 for the convention held these days in Madrid.
In fact, the celebration of this world event with climate change was foreseen in Brazil, but just one year ago, the new President of this South American country, Jair Bolosnaro, announced that Brazil was not able to economically face the organization. Chile would be the organizer after announcing in Poland that it would hold the next meeting. However, the current climate of insecurity, protests and unsafe situation in Chile discourage the organization of the event. The fast search of a place where the highest world experts debate climate change got a positive response from the Government of Spain, which in record time took over the program of activities that right now are being carried out.
The COP25 is taking place in order to achieve the stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and limit them far below the 2 degrees. In this way, the convention will be a mechanism for the attending countries to close the regulation of development of the Agreement of Paris, which was designed as the first world binding pact in defense of the climate of the planet that should be fully in force in January 2020.
Banco Santander is one of the official sponsors of the COP25. As a part of its responsible banking strategy, Santander firmly bets on the Sustainable Development Goals defined by UN. Banco Santander supports the ongoing development of the renewable energies and accompanies its clients in the transition towards an economy with low CO2 emissions through financial solutions implemented for every specific case.
The compromise of the entity is materialized in specific goals, such as its bet on financing or facilitating the mobilization of 120,000 million euros between 2019 and 2025 and 220,000 million euros up to 2030 to fight against climate change. Also, the goal for 2021 is eliminating the unnecessary use of single use plastic in all its offices and buildings and, in 2025, 100% of the energy used will come from renewable sources.
These are the goals; however, Santander already can talk about goals achieved on sustainability. For example, the Bank has developed more than 250 initiatives with an investment of 69.8 million euros, especially focusing on energy savings and raw material, in reducing waste and emissions and raising awareness of employees. Also, it has achieved in a sole year reducing by 38% the use of plastic packaging and 61% the use of paper, the plastic cups for coffee have been totally recalled and the plastic bottles of the meeting rooms have been substituted by crystal bottles. Any measure, even the smallest ones, it is useful to alleviate the problem, no matter the size, as it is the case.