World leaders are gathering in Paris for the U.N. climate conference, an event some have labeled ‘the last chance’ conference. The goal is no less than a historic global arrangement to combat dangerous climate change.
CCTV America’s Kate Parkinson reports.
World leaders arrive in Paris for 'last chance' climate change talksWorld leaders are gathering in Paris for the U.N. climate conference, an event some have labeled 'the last chance' conference. The goal is no less than a historic global arrangement to combat dangerous climate change.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was among the first leaders to arrive in Paris ahead of the U.N. climate change summit. Around 150 world leaders are expected to attend the opening day of the event, known as COP21.
While in Paris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to the victims of the recent terror attacks, visiting the Bataclan concert hall where 90 people were killed. The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, also visited the attack site where she met with relatives of one of the Chilean victims.
In the wake of the deadly terror attacks, authorities banned protests in Paris amid security concerns. But climate activists found a novel way around the ban placing over 10,000 pairs of shoes on Paris’ Place de la Republique where protesters had planned to march.
One pair was left by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who said on the eve of the summit that time is running out and global leaders must act quickly to tackle climate change.
“The time is now to act. We don’t have any time to waste. Leaders should bear and feel moral and political responsibility for humanity and this is the one which will really help put an end to poverty, making our cities healthier and more livable and making our lives much safer and more prosperous with human dignity,” he said.
At the conference venue there was some hope that the shadow cast over Paris by the attacks may actually enhance the chance of reaching an agreement. Certainly the number of world leaders attending the opening day on Nov. 30 is unprecedented and many see that as a sign that the world is ready to act.
But there are still many challenges ahead and many different opinions on the form and content an agreement should take. As French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius formally opened negotiations on Sunday, ahead of schedule, it marked the start of what will be 12 days of very tough talks.