Greta Thunberg.

  • The United Nations' COP25 climate conference concluded in Madrid, Spain on Sunday.
  • The 2-week-long conference yielded very few tangible outcomes related to addressing climate change.
  • Here's what to know about COP25 and its disappointing conclusion, by the numbers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


The 25th iteration of the United Nations' biggest annual conference on climate change, COP25, came to an end on Sunday in Madrid, Spain.

But despite a year of increased climate cognizance worldwide - led in part by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg - the 13 days of negotiations yielded few tangible outcomes.

"I am disappointed with the results of COP25," António Guterres, UN secretary general, tweeted as talks closed. "The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and finance to tackle the climate crisis. But we must not give up, and I will not give up."

Delegates arrived in Madrid on December 3 with the intention of solidifying the legislative "operating manual" for how to achieve the goals set in the Paris climate agreement. The Paris agreement, established in 2015, is a voluntary accord between 200 countries to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

But recent research has revealed that meeting those objectives is becoming more and more challenging, especially given that President Donald Trump has initiated the process of pulling the US out of the accord. Limiting warming seems even more difficult given the lack of progress made at COP25 - the world's biggest emitters failed to sign onto any binding emissions reduction agreement.

Critics pointed to the final declaration's weak language, which cited only an "urgent need" to close the gap between the world's current path and the Paris agreement goals.

Here's what to know about the climate conference, by the numbers.

Number of participating nations in the COP conference: 190

Number of delegates who went to Madrid for the two-week proceedings: 27,000

Number of years COP has been held annually: 25

Cost of putting on the event: an estimated R1,4 billion

Number of hours COP proceedings went past their scheduled conclusion: 44

Number of people who marched in Madrid on Friday to demand climate justice: 500,000

Number of protestors kicked out of the conference venue: about 200

Truckloads full of horse manure dumped outside COP25 by protesters with the Extinction Rebellion group: 1 (It was accompanied by the message: "The horseshit stops here.")

Number of kilometres between the conference's original location, Santiago, Chile, and Madrid: 10,695 km (On November 1, the UN moved the conference to avoid protests and riots at the Chilean capital.)

Number of boat trips Thunberg took across the Atlantic Ocean to get to COP25: 2 (The last-minute move left the teen activist, who refuses to fly due to planes' high carbon emissions, scrambling to get a boatride back to Europe. She had sailed to the Americas this summer in hopes of reaching Chile in time for COP25.)

Current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 411 parts per million - the highest in human history

Amount greenhouse-gas emissions have increased by since the Paris accord was signed in 2015: 4%

Degrees Celsius Earth is on track to warm by 2100: 3

Degrees Celsius Earth has already warmed above pre-industrial levels: at least 1

Year by which the European Union has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions: 2050

Number of times after this conference that the US will participate in international negotiations related to the Paris agreement: 0

Number of small island and coastal nations "appalled and dismayed" by the results: 44 - they signed a statement together

US dollars pledged to help small nations and Pacific island states cope with the impacts of climate change: 90 million - "But, adapting to secure 1.5 costs vastly more," the 44-nation statement said.

Agreements signed to set up global carbon markets: 0

International agreements made during COP25 to reduce emissions: 1 (But it wasn't part of COP25 talks. In Brussels, European Union leaders pledged to eliminate their carbon footprints by 2050.)

Major emitters who agreed to make their emissions-reduction pledges more ambitious: 0

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