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Madrid gets ready to host December's UN climate summit at last minute as Chile backs out

Madrid gets ready to host December's UN climate summit at last minute as Chile backs out

The United Nations has accepted the acting Spanish government's offer to organise the event which will run from 2 to 13 December

DOMÉNICO CHIAPPE

Friday, 8 November 2019, 13:50

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The United Nations has accepted the acting Spanish government's offer to organise the next Climate Change Conference in Madrid from 2 to 13 December.

A hasty change of venue was needed after public disturbances over the last month in Santiago de Chile, the planned host city. Originally the event, known as COP25, was due in Brazil but a change of government there had already seen it moved to Chile.

Organisers in Spain are now working flat out to prepare the private and public spaces that will be used by leaders and experts from 125 countries. The government has said that getting the summit ready "is priority" and that it will take place " in normal conditions" despite " the short timescale available".

While the mayor of Madrid showed his satisfaction at being chosen for the conference, there was some disquiet from police who will be responsible for the security of the estimated 25,000 delegates and support teams.

"We found out via the press," a police source said. "At the moment we've got in our heads the ongoing operation in Catalonia and the general election next Sunday, which could be complicated."

The main events will be held at Madrid's out-of-town exhibition centre, Ifema.

Malaga had also offered itself as main venue and still hopes to stage some side events.

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