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Protests in Paris!

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It’s been just two weeks since Paris was hit by a vicious terrorist attack that killed 130 people and injured over 350, and already the city is in the news again, but this time, for positive reasons, as the UN Climate Conference 2015 is being held in Paris this week. Over 140 world leaders will be attending this summit and there is a lot of optimism that an agreement on climate change will be found.

Already, the United States and 18 other countries have pledged to double funds for clean tech research amounting to over $20 billion over 5 years. It is hoped that the Paris climate negotiation which begins on Monday, November 30, will satisfy the enormous expectations that so many people in the world have from it.

The business leaders who have pledged support to fund technologies to fight climate change are the USA’s Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, Germany’s Hasso Plattner, India’s Ratan Tata, and finally, China’s Jack Ma. They have promised to take additional steps in order to ensure a better planet for all of us.

Brian Deese, a senior White House advisor said, “This announcement should help to send a strong signal that the world is committed to helping to mobilise the resources necessary to ensure countries around world can deploy clean energy solutions in cost-effective ways in their economies.”

One of the most important goals of the climate summit is to limit temperature rises to not more than 2 degree Celsius. However, Philippine president Benigno Aquino and leaders of 42 other countries have demanded that the UN should ask for a more ambitious target, of a temperature rise of not more than 15 degree Celsius.

This group of 43 nations is called the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and includes the Philippines, Bangladesh and Costa Rica. CVF put out a statement to the press stating, “We are the countries who will suffer the most from climate change and against whom all the big [negotiating] groups like the US, EU and G77 are aligned. We are the majority: 106 of the 195 countries of the world want this 1.5C target. But there is no democracy here. It’s a power game and the powerful are not on our side. We accept it is not realistic [in these talks ] but it is the right thing to do.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, from London to New York, Sydney to Paris, marched last Sunday, demanding that world leaders should agree to a much stronger climate deal. In Paris the demonstrations turned violent as they were hijacked by a small group of masked protestors who started throwing missiles at the police.

French president Francois Hollande blasted the protestors saying, “These disruptive elements have nothing to do with defenders of the environment. They are not there so that the [COP21] talks succeed but are there solely to create incidents.

“It is doubly regrettable, even scandalous, that this happened at the Place de la Republique where flowers and candles have been left in memory of those who were killed by the terrorists bullets in the November 13 Paris attacks,” President Hollande added.

Author: Raghav Hegde – India

source photo: thedailybeast


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