Paris climate change summit in a city in a state of emergency

The Paris climate change summit will take place from November 30th to December 11th in a city which is reeling from the November 13th terrorist attacks. The city is in a state of emergency, and will probably still be when leaders from across the world gather in the French capital. So far, 137 heads of states said they will be there on the first day of the meetings.

A lot is expected of this 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. It is supposed to produce the first new global climate agreement in eighteen years. A giant march that was planned on the eve of the conference would have been especially large. Because of the state of emergency, it is unlikely to be allowed.

Following the November 13th terrorist attacks that killed 130 people, security in Paris has been tightened – public rallies, the staple diet of international meetings, have been cancelled.

Barack Obama Paris climate change summitPresident Barack Obama is urging world leaders to show the terrorists that they cannot influence how policymakers go about their business. (Image: whitehouse.gov)

So the answer to the question – ‘Have the terrorist attacks had any effect of the outcome of the Paris meeting’ – is perhaps a ‘Yes’. If there won’t be any public protest, policymakers may feel less pressure … etc.

However, most international meetings, like the Paris one, which is held in a different city each year, tend to be overshadowed by troubles somewhere in the word, from EU financial crises to wars in the Middle East.



Writing in the Financial Times, Pilita Clark quotes Andrew Steer, president of the US-based World Resources Institute environmental group, who said “I think, if anything, it stiffens the spine in terms of determination to really solve what is the greatest collective action problem in history.”

Heads of states are unlikely to cancel their trip to Paris and be singled out as the ones who failed to express solidarity with France. So, if they are going to attend, they are likely to want to come home with a deal. Even though the heads will only be there for the first day, they set the tone.

Most media sources across the world believe, if anything, the terrorist attacks have made leaders more united and determined to get things done.

Paris Climate Change Summit 2015The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

Barack Obama insists we must have a deal

US President Barak Obama has urged leaders not to allow the Paris attacks to sabotage the climate change summit.

President Obama said today:

“I think it’s absolutely vital for every country, every leader, to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business.”

President Obama added that leaders across the world had to show the terrorists who murdered at least 130 people “that we’re not afraid”.

CEO of Friends of the Earth in the UK, Craig Bennet, fears that the terrorist attacks may result in a weaker accord.

The Guardian quoted Mr. Bennett as saying:

“They will want to give Hollande a deal at the end of the day. But the deal may not be as good as it might have been. Countries turning up in Paris will be reluctant for Paris to be seen as a failure, but we have a deal on the table that is not enough – we would have liked to see a stronger deal, and maybe we are less likely to get that now.”

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