Why did Chile cancel the APEC summit

Santiago: Chile cancels climate summit due to protests

Chile's President Sebastián Piñera has canceled the UN climate conference because of the unrest in the country. After more than ten days of partly violent protests against social and economic inequality, his government is not organizing the climate conference COP25 and the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (Apec), said Piñera. It was an "extremely painful" decision, said the conservative head of state. The Apec summit was to take place on November 16-17 and the UN conference on December 2-13 in the capital, Santiago de Chile.

The protests were triggered by a rise in underground prices. Some protesters are calling for better health care, higher wages, good pensions and better access to education.

Federal government promotes Bonn as a location

After Chile's rejection, the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (Bund) called on the federal government to take the initiative. "The climate summit must be rescheduled as soon as possible. It would be good if the federal government offered the UN location in Bonn - similar to what it did three years ago. It would be very easy to hold such a conference in Bonn in a short time," said the federal climate expert Ann-Kathrin Schneider ZEIT ONLINE.

At the climate summit, the countries should improve their national climate protection plans and revise emissions trading. "These are crucial questions for the implementation and improvement of the Paris climate agreement and we cannot wait there," said Schneider.

Development minister wants climate conference every two years

After the rejection, Development Minister Gerd Müller again advocated that climate conferences should only take place every two years. The cancellation was regrettable, but also an opportunity to think about the format, said the CSU politician. "It cannot be timely for 20,000 people to fly around half the globe for 14 days every year." Müller's suggestion: "At a high level, the meetings only take place every two years." In between, the experts should work regularly in smaller formats.

The Foreign Office in Berlin had issued a warning for Chile about the protests. Travelers were urged to be particularly careful. Public places and gatherings of people should be avoided, and further riots could occur, especially in larger cities.

Brazil originally wanted to host the 25th UN Climate Change Conference. At the end of November 2018, however, the government in Brasília announced that it would renounce the role of host, referring to the tight budget situation. According to critics, the background was above all the imminent assumption of office of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is known as a climate change skeptic.