Energy & Environment

Protesters disrupt UN climate conference

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Dozens of protesters disrupted a United Nations climate conference Wednesday, forcing security to escort them out of the event.

“Yesterday, an unfortunate security incident took place within the facilities of COP25 during an unplanned protest by some non-governmental observers, which made it necessary to take actions intended to ensure the safety of COP participants and to allow for the continuation of the conference proceedings,” the United Nations’s climate office said in a statement Thursday. 

Roughly 100 people were escorted out of the event in Madrid, according to an estimate from The Associated Press, after they demonstrated outside a hall where U.N. chief António Guterres was speaking.

The U.N. said the protesters had violated rules that had been agreed upon in advance, but maintained the importance of incorporating nongovernmental organizations at its events. 

“The [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] Secretariat underlined the importance of participation of observers in the climate change conferences. Since the early days of the UNFCCC, non-governmental organizations have been actively involved, attending sessions and exchanging views with other participants, including with Party delegations,” the U.N. said.

“At the same time, the Secretariat stressed that with the valuable support of UN Security, it is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all participants at climate change conferences,” it added. “Furthermore, it also stressed it has taken efforts to ensure a safe and respectful environment.”

The U.N. said that the protesters have since agreed to abide by its code of conduct and will be allowed reentry to the climate conference Thursday. 

The protesters had expressed anger over the lack of willingness of countries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gasses to do more to curb the effects of climate change. The conference appears to be headed for overtime over differences over rules for international carbon markets, according to the AP.


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