UN climate summit kicks off in Madrid
A major United Nations climate summit kicks off on Monday, with negotiators from 200 countries gathering in Madrid to iron out rules to reach the agreed goal of limiting global warming under the Paris deal.
The two-week Conference of the Parties (COP25) will begin with the passing of the presidency to Carolina Schmidt, Chile's environment minister. The summit was set to take place in Chile, but was abruptly relocated to Spain after anti-government protests rocked the country, The Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.
Schmidt has called the meeting "the COP of implementation," as delegates will try to resolve sticking points of last year's conference in Poland's Katowice.
Those include how to create functioning international emissions trading systems and compensate poor countries for climate-related losses and damage.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Sunday that cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases that have been agreed so
far under the 2015 Paris agreement were "utterly inadequate" to limit temperature rises to a goal of between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Delegates are also under pressure from mounting global calls for climate action, spearheaded by Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.
On Friday, thousands of protesters gathered in cities from Australia to India and Europe, citing the "climate emergency" declared by EU lawmakers a day earlier and growing scientific evidence of the dire consequences of global heating.
COP25 is seen as a stepping stone to next year's even more crucial summit, when countries must ratchet up their commitments to tackle the climate crisis under the Paris accord.