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Spain will host COP25 climate summit after Chile withdrawal

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Protest against Chile's government in Concepcion
Protest against Chile's government in Concepcion -
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Reuters - Hurst, Luke
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Spain will host the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, following Chile's withdrawal as host due to violent protests in the country's capital.

The United Nations confirmed on Thursday that the conference would take place in Madrid from December 2 - 13.

Chile pulled out of hosting the crucial climate summit, as well as the APEC trade summit, in the wake of demonstrations in the South American country that have left at least 18 dead and 7,000 people arrested.

A Spanish government source said on Thursday, referring to hosting the climate summit: “It is nearly done, we have every chance of getting it.”

On Spain's offer to host, the UN's Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: "We are hopeful that the COP Bureau can consider this proposed solution as soon as possible. It is encouraging to see countries working together in the spirit of multilateralism to address climate change, the biggest challenge facing this and future generations."

More: Chile pulls out of hosting key climate and trade summits after violent unrest

The summit is aimed at fleshing out details of the implementation of the landmark Paris Agreement climate pact, amid calls for urgent action from environmental groups and climate protesters.

The Spanish government said in a statement earlier on Thursday that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was ready to do what was needed to host the summit in the capital.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Sanchez had offered to host the summit in Spain on the same days as previously scheduled, between December 2 to 13.

“I hope that this generous offer from the president of Spain... represents a solution,” Pinera said. “We have shared this information with the leading authorities at the United Nations.”

Chile’s withdrawal is the first time that a nation has pulled out of hosting the conference with just a month to go.

Violent riots in recent days have left large parts of capital Santiago shut down, with its vital metro transport system suffering nearly $400 million in damage.

Last Friday, as many as a million Chileans took to the streets of Santiago in the biggest rally since violence broke out over inequality in the country.

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