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The UN Climate Change Conference 2019 (COP25) took place in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 15 December (having been extended for 2 days from 13 December). It was originally scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile but on 1 November 2019, the UNFCCC accepted a proposal from the Government of Chile to change the venue due to the civil unrest in Chile in October/November 2019. It was consequently rebranded as “Chile Madrid COP25”. 

The conference took place under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. The President-Delegate for the conference was Ms Carolina Schmidt Zaldivar, Minister of Environment of Chile. There were around 27,000 delegates in attendance, including representatives from the UK Cabinet Office.

Building on the outcomes of COP24 in Poland, the key aim of COP25 was to finalise the “rulebook” of the Paris Agreement (agreed at COP21) by agreeing rules for carbon markets and other forms of international cooperation. However, the talks did not reach consensus or achieve many of the outcomes that were hoped for, instead pushing decisions into 2020’s COP26 in the UK. UN secretary general António Guterres said he was “disappointed” with the results of COP25, tweeting that:

The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crises.

But we must not give up, and I will not give up.

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