Spain will host U.N. climate change discussions in December after Chile withdrew, the United Nations said Friday, a last-minute change which raises significant logistical difficulties and has left teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
The U.N. climate change conference, known formally as COP25, will be held Dec. 2-13, as originally planned, however, in Madrid – over 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) away from Chile’s capital Santiago the place it was initially determined to take place.
Chile’s government Wednesday declared it was withdrawing as host of the December climate summit as well as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit scheduled in November, after two weeks of protests over inequality in the South American nation left at least 18 people dead.
Alexander Saier, a spokesperson for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated that the Spanish authorities would help facilitate the issuance of visas and set up an agency to assist in organizing the travel and accommodation of the around 25,000 attendees.
Madrid mayor called his city’s role hosting the conference a “great opportunity to indicate our commitment in the battle against pollution and show that we’re ready to greet its 25,000 attendees.”
The meet comes amid calls for swift action from environmentalists and climate protesters, with recent scientific reports urging comprehensive measures to halt global temperatures from rising over 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who led a high-profile global climate movement to focus on the climate crisis, said the change of venue for the summit had stranded her on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
Greta, currently in Los Angeles, traveled to the United States by yacht from Europe and had deliberate to continue her journey to Santiago for the climate discussions carbon-free.