Don’t let Paris attacks stop COP21 climate change deal, pleads Obama

The Guardian reports: Barack Obama has moved to ensure that the Paris attacks do not sabotage a crucial climate change summit in the city next week, urging his fellow leaders to attend and strike a new deal on global warming.

The US president spoke out amid concerns that security fears in Paris coupled with an understandable deflection of French attention away from the imminent two-week summit might undermine chances for a historic agreement to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

“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,” Obama said.

He added that world leaders had to show the murderous adversaries who killed at least 130 people “that we’re not afraid”. And the first chance to do that is next Monday, when the Paris climate change talks, known as COP21, start.

The Paris attacks have cast a deep shadow over COP21 – demonstrations have been banned and security has been stepped up – though none of the 130-plus heads of state and government due to attend has yet pulled out.

France has made a huge play of preparing for the summit, which is supposed to achieve a new global deal to curb emissions from 2020 and prevent the planet from catastrophic overheating. But in the wake of the 13 November attacks, there have been concerns that the French political leadership, and president François Hollande in particular, might have other things on their mind.

Privately, French officials insist they are determined not to let their agenda be set by terrorists. And some observers are hoping that the threat might galvanisethe talks to greater solidarity and urgency. [Continue reading…]

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