Madrid to host UN climate summit after Chile pulls out

(The Guardian, 1 Nov 2019) Event will take place from 2-13 December as planned after Spain intervenes to save talks.

The world’s governments will meet in Madrid this December to discuss the climate emergency, it has been confirmed, after a last-minute intervention by the Spanish government to save the talks.

The conference had been set to take place in Santiago, Chile, but the government of President Sebastian Pinera decided on Wednesday to call it off because of the unrest in the capital. Scores of people have been killed and injured in weeks of rioting over economic inequality and social problems.

After Chile withdrew, there was concern that the annual talks might have to be scaled down, postponed or even abandoned.

However, on Friday afternoon, the UN’s top official on climate change, Patricia Espinosa, issued a terse statement that COP25 would go ahead on the original dates, 2-13 December, but in Madrid.

Scientific warnings have become increasingly insistent that time is running out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst damages of global heating. But international negotiations under the UN have been slow and plagued by upsets and backsliding, such as the US plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Brazil’s rejection of its commitments by President Jair Bolsonaro, and the rise of political populism in other regions.

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The Guardian, 1 Nov 2019: Madrid to host UN climate summit after Chile pulls out