Climate

Paris Attacks Won’t Deter Coming Climate Talks, Officials Say

CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.

Both the French Government and the United Nations have confirmed that the big Paris climate talks scheduled for November 30 to December 12 will proceed as planned, but with stronger security in the wake of the Friday’s terrorist attacks.

The much-anticipated talks “will be held with enhanced security measures but it is absolutely essential action against climate change and obviously it will take [place],” French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius told Le Monde. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) spokesman Nick Nuttall confirmed that “COP21 [the 21st Conference of Parties to the Convention] is going ahead as planned,” E&E News reports.

Security was always going to be tight at COP21, as it kicks off with some 120 heads of state including President Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The French government is now reviewing security following terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 128 people. AFP reports, “an American official said President Barack Obama would participate in the meeting.”

Significantly, while these are called the “Paris climate talks,” the negotiations actually take place 10 miles outside of the famous city center where tourists flock to see the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, and countless other attractions. The venue is Le Bourget Parc d’Expositions.

COP21LeBourget

The site was chosen in part for security reasons. The Paris Air Show is held at Le Bourget, and the site is most well known for being where Charles Lindbergh landed in 1927 after his famous solo transatlantic crossing.

Although the talks will proceed, there are hundreds of events planned near the Le Bourget or in Paris center. Many groups are now reviewing their plans. E&E News reports that “Climate Action Network [CAN] international, which represents hundreds of environmental groups dedicated to climate change, said they will meet on Monday to discuss next steps.” A CAN statement said:

The coalition organizing the Global Climate March on November 29th is meeting on Monday to discuss ways forward. We hope this weekend will offer time for reflection, mourning and hope and that we can come together as a community on Monday when more information may be in hand. The climate movement around the world stands for peace and justice. To our core, we oppose hateful actions like those in Paris last night and in Beirut earlier this week.