For the first time since late August, Real Madrid do not have a midweek game. Despite this brief lull in the calendar, the club manages to make headlines off the field. This past Monday the United Nations (UN) began their 25th annual Framework Convention for Climate Change at the IFEMA convention center in Madrid. In a display of solidarity, Real Madrid hung a banner with the official convention name and logo on the main facade of the Santiago Bernabéu.
COP25, as this year’s UN climate change conference is called, had a very rocky road to Madrid. Brazil was originally supposed to play host this past November. However, over a year ago Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro withdrew from hosting by citing economic reasons. The event was then moved to Chile, but due to social unrest in early October, the conference was forced to find a new host just over two months before the new year. In the end, Spain stepped up with Madrid as the host city. It is very reminiscent of when CONMEBOL needed to re-locate the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Final between River Plate and Boca Juniors due to poor security and local politics, and Real Madrid graciously opened its doors to the Santiago Bernabéu.
The banner is not only majestic in size, but also dynamic in material composition. While measuring almost 36 meters by 20 meters, the banner is environmentally friendly. During sun hours, the banner overlooking Paseo de la Castellana converts pollution and dirt into water vapor and salt while eliminating bacteria at the same time. The most striking detail of all has to do with nitrogen dioxide. For every three square meters, it absorbs the amount equal to what a vehicle produces in an entire year!
For the next two weeks, over 25,000 representatives from 200 countries will be in the Spanish capital to work towards reaching agreements to combat climate change. Even though this convention is completely separate from sports, this issue is raising global awareness. That effect is directly in line with one of the pillars of the Real Madrid Foundation which is social and cultural awareness. In this spirit, the club stands behind this enormous gathering of international diplomats trying to protect the planet. Madridismo is universal.
Christian Paredes (@Xian_D_Paredes) is a Founding Member and former Chairman (2012-2016) of La Peña Madridista Sur de California (@RmSurCalifornia)