IFEMA – Feria de Madrid in Spain, venue for the COP25.

Commenting on the outcome of the COP25 United Nations climate change summit in Madrid, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“The Spanish government deserves great credit for hosting the summit with the government of Chile at such short notice and so effectively. It is encouraging that governments reached agreement on most of the remaining parts of the so-called rulebook about the implementation of the Paris Agreement. But it is disappointing that no consensus was reached about Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on the trade of emissions permits and credits, which means this issue will still need to be resolved over the next 12 months. Although the COP process often seems frustratingly slow, it is important to remember that it proceeds through consensus among all 197 Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

“The governments of Italy and the U.K. now face a major challenge over the next 12 months in working to persuade all countries to bring forward more ambitious commitments to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of holding global warming to well below 2 Celsius degrees. This work could be reinforced by the growing recognition of the great attractions of a transition to sustainable economic development and growth, with rising living standards, better health, greater social inclusion, a less polluted environment, and stronger ecosystems. The announcement of the European Green Deal is an important step in this new direction.

“Although the United States is in the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, all other countries have shown their determination to implement it. The rise in global mean surface temperature will only be halted when total emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are cut to effectively zero.

“A highlight in Madrid has been the first gathering of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action at a United Nations climate change summit. The leadership of finance ministers will be critical to the economic transformation that we need. The leadership of International Monetary Fund under its new Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, will add valuable support and momentum.

“I hope political leaders will now listen to the many voices, particularly of young people of the world, who are calling for urgent action on climate change to make the world safer, healthier, fairer and more prosperous. The commitment of young people to tackle climate change is our hope for the future and we have a duty to respond to their call for strong and urgent action.”



  1. Nicholas Stern was Second Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury of the UK Government between 2003 and 2007. He also served as Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches.
  2. Lord Stern is Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (https://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham), which was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (https://www.granthamfoundation.org/). Lord Stern is also Chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (https://www.cccep.ac.uk/), which is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also Director of the India Observatory and the Asia Research Centre at London School of Economics and Political Science.




Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.