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Spain replaces Chile as host of world's annual climate conference

By Charlotte Ricca

Chile steps down as host of COP25 due to political unrest, and Spain steps up

Spain will host the world's annual climate conference in Madrid, after Chile withdrew due to political unrest.

President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, announced on 30 October that the country could no longer hold COP25 in Santiago. He said his government needs "to prioritise re-establishing public order" following violent anti-government protests.

The first Conference of the Parties (COP) was held in Berlin in 1995. Twenty-five years later the annual conference welcomes almost 200 countries, who meet to discuss the Paris Agreement. The Paris climate pact aims to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030.

Spain will host COP25 from 2-13 December. The country’s ecological transition minister, Teresa Ribera, tweeted that hosting the United Nations (UN) climate talks is “a privilege” and “honour” to facilitate global action on climate change.

“Progressive and constructive multilateralism is the best answer to global challenges,” she said.

UN Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “It is encouraging to see countries working together in the spirit of multilateralism to address climate change, the biggest challenge facing this and future generations.”

Chile has also cancelled the APEC trade summit, at which China and the US had been due to sign an interim trade deal, due to the unrest.

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