Climate change in the spotlight in Madrid as COP25 continues

A display welcomes visitors at the COP25 conference in Madrid.
A display welcomes visitors at the COP25 conference in Madrid. / CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP
  • 25,000 will attend the conference, which had to be moved from Chile at the last minute due to unrest in the Latin American country

The Climate Conference began on Monday in Madrid, with delegations from nearly 200 countries set to attend the two-week event.

It is the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference, and although it is taking place in the Spanish capital, it will be presided over by Chile. The South American country was set to host the summit, but large-scale protests and riots made this prospect unfeasible.

The most concrete achievement of the Climate Change conferences to date is the 2015 Paris Agreement, which makes signatories commit to keeping global emissions below two degrees, and attempt to limit them to 1.5.

The UN has warned, however, that countries would need to triple their current greenhouse gas reduction commitments in order to meet the two degree target, and multiply them by five in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

It is hoped that more ambitious targets will be agreed upon in Madrid. Greater financial support from developed countries to those in less rich nations will also be on the cards.