Europe

COP25: Thousands gather for change climate protests in Madrid

Demonstrators with a balloon in the shape of the Earth take part in a mass climate march Image copyright AFP
Image caption Organisers estimate that half a million people are demonstrating

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in Madrid as the Spanish city hosts climate negotiations by the UN.

They are calling for more ambitious climate change policy.

The rally was joined by speakers including actor Javier Bardem and activist Greta Thunberg. A concert was also held near to Nuevos Ministerios, a government complex in the city centre.

Organisers say around 500,000 people are taking part in the demonstrations. Officials have not given a figure.

Simultaneous protests are also being held in the Chilean capital of Santiago, which was initially expected to host the UN conference.

"The change we need is not going to come from people in power," Ms Thunberg told the crowds. "The change is going to come from the people, the masses, demanding change."

Climate change activists march in silence in the 'Fridays For Future' climate change mass protest Image copyright Getty Images
Demonstrators take part in a mass climate march Image copyright AFP

The talks - known as the COP25 - were due to be held in Chile but the Chilean government cancelled following weeks of civil unrest.

Members of indigenous communities speak onstage after a mass climate march Image copyright AFP

They began on Monday with the UN secretary general warning that time to avoid the worst effects of climate change was running out and that negotiators should be guided by the science.

Demonstrators hold skull masks during a mass climate march Image copyright AFP

By the end of the meeting on 13 December, negotiators hope to resolve disagreements over the implementation of the Paris Climate Accords.

Demonstrators take part in a mass climate march Image copyright AFP

But countries continue to disagree on targets for cutting carbon emissions, and plans to increase these targets have not been included in the agenda for COP25's final agreement.

A balloon in the shape of the Earth is pictured with a placard reading "there is no Planet B" Image copyright AFP

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