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Madrid to host COP25 after Chile withdraws due to protests over wealth inequality & increasing violence

Due to rising violence and protests over wealth inequality and the privatization of government services, Chile has withdrawn as the host of the COP25 conference on climate change. Spain has volunteered to host the conference in Madrid, which was welcomed by many as the conference is only four weeks away. However, the recent change in venue makes it difficult for activists to change travel plans and raises potential issues for those traveling from Africa and Asia to secure visas, causing concerns around the inclusiveness of the conference. 

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Article
4 November 2019

Chile pulls out of hosting COP25 climate talks amid civil unrest

Author: Karl Mathiesen and Chloé Farand, Climate Home News

Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera announced the country would not host the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting or the Cop25 climate talks on [30 October]... UN Climate Change said they were “currently exploring alternative hosting options”...[T]he Chilean government said it would continue to preside over the Cop25 negotiations until it passes on the baton to the UK ahead of next year’s meeting...  A state of emergency was declared in Chile [in October 2019] after... [p]rotesters denouncing social inequality and the privatisation of social services were met with violent repression by Chilean police and armed forces. Last week, CHN reported that 18 people had been killed in the violence... UN high commissioner for human rights and former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet said she would investigate allegations of human rights violationsThe climate talks... had already been moved once after Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro withdrew Brazil as host.

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Article
4 November 2019

Civil society calls on intl. community to stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples in Chile & highlight rights-based climate action in COP25 discussions

Author: Center for International Environmental Law

Sébastien Duyck, Senior Attorney at CIEL: "We stand in solidarity with civil society and indigenous peoples in Chile who have suffered from inequalities and injustices and who have mobilized to call for urgent reforms. If Chile hopes the world will turn a blind eye to the repression in its streets by cancelling COP-25, it is sorely mistaken. We commit to remaining vigilant as this dangerous, unjust situation develops in Chile, and we call upon the government to uphold its human rights obligations and to investigate and hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account"

Marcela Mella, Coordinadora Ciudadana No Alto Maipo: "COP-25 represented an unprecedented opportunity for the world to understand the human rights impacts not only of climate change, but also the impacts of climate action, because we are experiencing them right here in Chile, just an hour away from the conference venue. Instead of protecting the rivers Chileans depend on, the government has legitimized the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project as positive climate action under the UN Climate Framework’s ‘Clean Development Mechanism...As the international community continues to monitor developments in the streets of Santiago and beyond, we ask that it also stand in solidarity with the No Alto Maipo movement as we continue our fight for justice and rights as well.”

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Article
4 November 2019

Madrid to host Cop25 climate talks in December after Chile withdraws

Author: Karl Mathiesen and Chloé Farand, Climate Home News

The Spanish government offered to hold [COP 25] in its capital on Thursday, following Chile’s announcement it could no longer be the venue... Chile’s environment minister Carolina Schmidt, who will remain Cop25 president despite the change of venue, said UN Climate Change had confirmed the news... Tosi Mpanu Mpanu a senior negotiator for the Democratic Republic of Congo, [said] “having a country volunteer in such a short time is something that must be welcomed by the whole community of negotiators”... [but] delegates from African and Asian countries, almost all of whom will have to apply for visas to Europe, must not be disadvantaged by immigration issues... A Spanish foreign ministry spokesperson said the government could not answer questions about how its consulates will process thousands of visa requests in the coming weeks.

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