In the wake of last Friday's attack on Paris by ISIS terrorists which killed 129 people, the French government announced that the city still will host an international climate summit that will begin on Nov. 30, but with a scaled-down schedule of public events and even more stringent security.
But fears persist that the trauma and state of anxiety left by ISIS's brazen attack on civilians in the French capital will hurt attendance and distract from the negotiations over a global deal to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Security concerns also may prevent climate activists from staging a massive march like the one in New York City last year, in which hundreds of thousands of ordinary people could demonstrate widespread support for curbing carbon emissions and fighting global warming. Environmental groups were planning to meet Monday to decide how to proceed, according to EcoWatch.
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The French newspaper Le Monde reported that COP21, the United Nations-sponsored conference that many of the world's most important leaders had planned to attend, will still take place. French prime minister Manuel Valls, an appointee of President Francois Hollande, said that the event would go on, but that concerts and other public events might be cancelled.
Valls said that the climate meeting will not be postponed "because it's an essential meeting for humanity," according to Reuters.
But the current G-20 talks in Ankara, Turkey, have revealed that signs of deep divisions among nations that stand in the way of formalizing a goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the Wall Street Journal reported.
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Negotiators from the largest industrialized nations have been unable to agree on key ingredients of the deal that would be signed in Paris, including the review process for enforcing nations' targets for reduction in greenhouse gas output. There also has been no discussion of the $100 billion annual aid that developed nations are expected to provide to poorer ones to help them prepare for climate change.
Additionally, some scientists already say that goal is inadequate to prevent drastic effects such as flooding, extreme weather events and displaced populations, and have pressed for an even more stringent limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
If Friday's attack on Paris hinders the climate summit, there will a certain bitter irony. Some scientists believe that climate change-induced drought was one of the factors that helped destabilize the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and create an opening for ISIS to seize territory in that nation.