This month Spain is hosting the 25th Edition of the United Nations Climate Summit (COP25). The talks were set to be held in Chile, but social unrest including violent protests and rioting in the capital meant the President of Chile had to call them off. However, Spain stepped in and offered to host the Summit in Madrid instead. This was no casual gesture, as the event is expected to cost around USD $100 million and attract between 20,000 and 25,000 delegates from the 197 member countries so the logistics need to be in place to be able to accommodate the attendees.
Where and When
The talks are taking place between 2nd and 13th December and whilst many visitors will fly into Barajas airport, some will be making the journey by boat and land. Greta Thunberg is expected to be one of the attendees at the Feria de Madrid (IFEMA) where the summit is being held, but having sailed across the Atlantic to attend talks in Chile she has now had to make her way back to Europe. As the event attendees will be mostly staying in hotels in and around the capital, this will of course bring in additional income, but by hosting the event to keep the talks on track, Spain is also showing signs that it is open to adopting more ‘climate friendly’ policies.
Although scientific warnings that time is running out to reduce harmful emissions and tackle rising temperatures, are increasing, governments have been slow to react. The 25th Climate Summit is essential for putting the 2015 Paris Agreement, as mentioned in previous articles, in place. The World Health Organization will have a strong involvement in the talks. Other events taking place during the summit include roundtables and action events covering topics such as the food chain; energy; transport; clean water and sanitation; industry etc.
Although some key participants think that it is a shame that COP25 is not going to be held in Latin America as originally planned, which would have helped highlight some of the grave climate impacts that affect that region, they are hopeful that those will be kept in mind during the Madrid summit.
At the time of writing, it very much remains to be seen how the outcome of the recent general election in Spain will affect future policies towards Renewable Energy. However, with both main party leaders committed to hosting the talks in Madrid, there is hope that this also demonstrates their commitment to reduce emissions.
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