Climate summit to start in Paris on Monday

Paris, Nov 30 (IANS) A critical UN conference aimed at arriving at an agreement on a new global approach to climate change is set to open in Paris on Monday afternoon.

COP-21 – the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties – starts from Monday and will end on December 11, BBC reported.

Police have locked down the conference centre in Le Bourget in north Paris, closing roads in the area amid strict security for the leaders’ visit. The conference opens at 2.30 p.m. local time.

Nearly 150 global leaders will address the gathering amid a growing sense of optimism that an agreement can be secured.

“It will be the turning point, which is what the world requires,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Fabius will chair the conference until it reaches a conclusion.

France and India will announce a global alliance that aims to bring together 100 solar-rich countries in tropical regions to rapidly expand the availability of electricity from the Sun.

Announcements on funding for renewable energy research are also expected.

However, there are growing concerns among the very poorest countries that their interests might be sacrificed in the clamour for compromise.

Most of the discussions here will revolve around a new deal that would limit global warming to 2C.

Around 40,000 people are expected to participate in the event, which is set to be far bigger than the Copenhagen conference in 2009 – that was the last time the world came close to agreeing on a long-term deal on climate change.

Meanwhile, French police have detained 208 people and kept a total of 174 in custody, after activists clashed violently with police in Paris on Sunday ahead of the summit.

The demonstrations took place at the Place de la Republique where flowers and candles have been left in memory of the 130 people who died in the November 13 Paris terror attacks.

Paris Police chief Michel Cadot said taking the candles and using them against police showed “an extreme lack of respect to those events”, CNN reported.

Riot police responded with tear gas.

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