France promises ‘enhanced’ COP21 security after terror attacks

UPDATED: Climate summit will go ahead but foreign minister Laurent Fabius indicates policing levels will be increased as a result of IS assault

The official French government climate summit website carries this image to commemorate the attacks (Pic: France Diplomatie)

The official French government climate summit website carries this image to commemorate the attacks (Pic: France Diplomatie)

By Ed King

France foreign minister Laurent Fabius says the COP21 climate summit will start as planned on November 30 but with boosted security after terrorist attacks in Paris left more than 120 dead and 200 wounded.

Eight gunmen and suicide bombers targeted cafes, restaurants, a theatre and the national football stadium on Friday evening in what French president Francois Hollande labelled an “act of war”.

Hollande has declared a national state of emergency after the night of carnage. The Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Asked if there was any danger the summit – where a UN deal to tackle global warming is expected to be signed – would be cancelled, Fabius replied “No, no, no, no, no, the COP21 [is] to be held.”

“It will be held with enhanced security measures but it is absolutely essential action against climate change and of course it will be held,” he added.

France’s chief climate diplomat Laurence Tubiana tweeted: [I] “hope spirit of cooperation and peace will be stronger than violence.”

Earlier on Saturday Pierre-Henri Guignard, general secretary of the 21st conference of the parties to the UN climate convention, told Le Monde officials planned to hold a “crisis meeting”.

An estimated 40,000 delegates are expected to attend the Paris climate talks, which run from November 30-December 11, along with 127 heads of state.

US president Barack Obama, China’s Xi Jinping are among those confirmed for the first day of the talks, which are being held at Le Bourget airfield on the outskirts of the city.

Obama and secretary of state John Kerry still plan to attend, according to reports from Washington DC.

“These are heinous, evil, vile acts. Those of us who can must do everything in our power to fight back,” Kerry said in a statement to media.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said she felt “deep pain” and was “standing in solidarity with the rest of France”.

In a tweet former US vice president Al Gore said he was cancelling a two-day ‘climate reality’ show planned for Paris this weekend “out of solidarity with France”.

Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum said the country “stands with France and the French people”.

South African ambassador Joyce Diseko – head of the 134-strong G77 + China group at UN talks – sent her “deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences”.

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