Paris climate talks will move forward despite attacks, some demonstrations may not

foggy Paris
CC BY 2.0 Flickr user Klovovi

The French government and United Nations officials have confirmed that international climate change talks will go forward later this month as planned. However, some public demonstrations scheduled to coincide with the international meeting may be cancelled in light of the deadly tourist attacks last Friday.

Climate Desk reports that on Tuesday morning in Paris, representatives of some 130 environmental groups met with French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius to discuss whether or not the public rallies should go forward. A massive rally, like the climate march that took place in New York City last year, is planned for Paris on November 29, the day before the opening of the climate talks.

However, it’s now unclear if these activities will be happen for security reasons, as the city of Paris remains under an official state of emergency. A decision from the French government is expected later today or tomorrow.

Regardless of the decision about protesters in Paris, a number of climate change groups remain committing to making November 28 and 29 days of action, with demonstrations going on elsewhere in the world and with digital campaigns. And we may see acts of civil disobedience in Paris regardless of what official authorities decree.

As for the UN talks themselves, which will be held in Le Bourget just north of the city, Fabius said there will be “reinforced security measures.” A high level of security was already planned for the event, with many heads of state planning to be in attendance.

Today in a press call, Dr. Andrew Steer, the president of the World Resources Insitute, a global research organization heavily involved with the Paris negotiations, said that the world leaders are as as determined as ever to come to an agreement in light of the attacks. “If anything we’re struck by more of a resolve,” he said, adding that there has been an “outpouring of the desire to do something in common.”

Steer’s positive outlook echoed comments made by Paul Bledsoe, who served as a climate advisor to the Clinton administration. "The resolve of world leaders is going to be redoubled to gain an agreement and show that they can deliver for populations around the world,” he told Politico in an email.

Steer said that while some 130 heads of state are currently planning to attend the opening day of the negotiations, the change is currently more a question of tone and mood than concrete action.

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