AT the drop of a hat Madrid has managed to hustle together an alternative venue for the COP25 summit in record time.

And the result is pretty impressive.

Eager for the prestige, the capital put out a call for 2,000 volunteers to help set up the conference in a month when it usually takes two years.

And the army of eco-helpers are everywhere, handing out goody bags while ironically speaking about the need to consume less over Christmas.

Greta Cop25
ICON: Greta Thunberg, who has travelled to the Spanish capital for the COP25 conference

“I’m very stressed about it what to do,” said Corina Popa from Romania. “My family is big on Christmas but I’m trying to make it more experience-based, giving things like massages.”

Naturally, sustainability has become a buzzword throughout the city with phases like ‘circular economy’ rolling easily off people’s tongues. 

Yet, still the street outside Primark is mobbed and the traffic on the A6 makes it a daily death trap.

“People are lazy about not using their cars,” says volunteer Cristina Gomez. “There’s no excuse. We have a very good public transport system.”

Yes, indeed, except disgruntled workers at the Metro had not read the script and called a strike on only the second day of the summit.

It meant the majority of COP25 delegates having to travel back to their hotels in taxis.

At least Greta got there by sail and rail!

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