Facing an unprecedented wave of protests demanding his resignation, Chile's right-wing president Sebastián Piñera announced Wednesday morning that his government would no longer be able to host the COP25 UN climate summit.
The announcement has left the United Nations scrambling, as it comes just over one month before the landmark international summit was set to begin. Chile had stepped forward to host the summit after the far right Jair Bolsonaro reneged last fall on Brazil's offer to host the summit.
On the official UN website for COP 25, there is a terse statement from UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa:
Earlier today, I was informed of the decision by the Government of Chile not to host COP25 in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing. We are currently exploring alternative hosting options.
An additional note on the UN website indicates that the rest of the summit information is no longer valid. Pre-conference sessions were due to begin in less than one month in the Chilean capital of Santiago.
Global leaders of the climate justice movement were quick to note the connections between the climate crisis and the social and economic inequality in Chile that is at the roots of the current protest movement.
I think that’s why he canceled https://t.co/IT7IfElDFw— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) October 30, 2019
I've been working on a book chapter this week about how high level climate policymaking conversations insulate themselves from democracy. Can't think of a better example than Chile's billionaire president cancelling #COP25 so he can keep repressing protesters— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) October 30, 2019
As of publication, the UN is reported to exploring alternative options for hosting COP25.
Further reading on Chile and the global climate crisis: