PARIS – The fights against terrorism and global warming are closely linked, French President Francois Hollande said on Monday as world leaders met in Paris for climate change talks two weeks after deadly Islamist militant attacks in France’s capital.
More than 150 world leaders arrived at United Nations climate change talks in Paris armed with promises and accompanied by high expectations as they look to hold back the Earth’s rising temperature.
Hollande reiterated that a deal to try to keep any further increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius needed to be “universal, differentiated and binding”, with richer countries contributing more than poorer ones.
“I can’t separate the fight with terrorism from the fight against global warming,” he said at the opening of the talks.
“These are two big global challenges we have to face up to, because we have to leave our children more than a world freed of terror, we also owe them a planet protected from catastrophes.”
World peace is at stake in the talks, he said.
After decades of struggling negotiations marked by the failure of a previous summit in Copenhagen six years ago, some form of landmark agreement appears all but assured by mid-December.
Hollande warned that there could not be a vague agreement.
“To resolve the climate crisis, good will, statements of intent are not enough,” Hollande said, telling world leaders that the future of humanity rested on their shoulders. “We are at breaking point.”
Photo: French President Francois Hollande (C) and French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (L) welcome United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as he arrives for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015. | REUTERS/Christian Hartmann