SPAIN -: Just a day after the President of Chile said his country could no longer hold the world’s annual climate conference, Spain has offered to host it in Madrid. The critical meeting, called COP25, was due to take place in Santiago for two weeks from 3 December. Chilean President SebastiánPiñera said his government needed “to prioritise re-establishing public order” after serious anti-government protests. Spain’s offer will be considered by the UN’s climate body next week. The Spanish government said it considered multilateral action on climate change to be a priority for the UN. The annual Conference of the Parties (COP) is usually an important moment for taking stock of where the world stands on climate change. For a quarter of a century, negotiators from almost 200 countries have gathered to try to advance a global strategy for tackling rising temperatures. However, COP25 has become a problem with country after country finding reasons not to host. COP25 was originally supposed to be held in Brazil. But in November last year, just two months after being announced as the summit’s host nation, then President-elect JairBolsonaro pulled out. Chile cancels global climate summit amid unrest.

The far-right leader said this was due to the change of government and budget restrictions, according to local media. However, he had recently chosen a foreign minister who claimed “climate alarmism” was just a plot by “cultural Marxists”. A month later, Chile was selected to host the climate conference instead.

Costa Rica, the other frontrunner, withdrew because of the costs involved in hosting.

With tens of thousands of delegates making plans to travel to Chile for the meeting, the abrupt cancellation on Wednesday by President Piñera was a real shock.

Citing the need for public safety, he withdrew his country’s offer to host both the COP and the Apec meeting, where President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping were due to meet.

Many involved in climate negotiations presumed that the meeting would take place in Bonn, Germany, home to the UNFCCC secretariat, at some point in the near future.

Now, according to a statement from acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain has volunteered Madrid as an alternative location. The Chileans have accepted and are recommending it to the UN. It seems that Chile will still hold the presidency of the COP but it will simply be held in Spain, if the UNFCCC agrees.