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Environmentalists barred from UN climate talks after protest

Thursday - December 12, 2019 1:10 pm , Category : WORLD
Madrid, Dec 12 (IANS) Environmentalists and observers have been barred from the ongoing UN climate talks in Madrid after a protest inside the conference, it was reported on Thursday.
Just hours after Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a powerful speech to COP25 on Wednesday, around 200 young campaigners staged a noisy demonstration in front of the main halls where the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was due to update the conference on the progress of the talks, reports the BBC.
They were expressing a rising sense of disappointment with the slow progress of the conference, which is in marked contrast to the urgency of scientists and the clamour for action from school strikers.
As the group banged pots and pans and chanted slogans, UN security staff intervened to move the protesters outside "abruptly and roughly", from the building, the demonstrators said, adding that they also had their badges removed, preventing them from returning to the talks.
Observers play an important role in the talks, representing civil society.
They are allowed to attend talks and have access to negotiators on condition that they do not reveal the contents of those discussions.
The UN described Wednesday's incident as "an unfortunate security incident".
After consultations with observer groups, the UN has agreed to allow those barred after the protest to return for the rest of the conference.
Meanwhile, the UN has also released more details about the scale of the challenge, the BBC reported.
All countries who signed the Paris agreement are due to put new climate pledges on the table by the end of next year.
So far, 84 countries have promised to enhance their national plans by then. Some 73 have said they will set a long-term target of net zero by the middle of the century.

--IANS ksk/