François Hollande: “COP21 will bring hope and solidarity”

French President Francois Hollande (C) delivers a speech to members of Parliament during an exceptional joint gathering of Parliament in Versailles on November 16, 2015, three days after 129 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack in France's history. AFP PHOTO/ ERIC FEFERBERG
French President Francois Hollande (C) delivers a speech to members of Parliament during an exceptional joint gathering of Parliament in Versailles on November 16, 2015, three days after 129 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack in France's history. AFP PHOTO/ ERIC FEFERBERG

16 Nov François Hollande: “COP21 will bring hope and solidarity”

François Hollande: “COP21 will bring hope and solidarity” 

On Monday afternoon, the President of the French Republic addressed the French deputies and senators who were assembled in Versailles. At the end of his address, which focused on the attacks of 13 November, the Head of State made reference to the Climate Conference: “We must continue – continue working, going out, living our lives, influencing the world: this is why the international climate conference will not only go ahead, but will bring hope and solidarity.”

Manuel Valls: “Paris will be the capital of the world” during COP21

“Paris will be the capital of the world” during COP21, said Prime Minister Manuel Valls Monday morning on French radio station RTL, thus confirming that the international climate conference (30 November – 11 December) will go ahead as planned despite Friday’s attacks.
Manuel Valls confirmed that the Heads of State will attend the opening day of the Conference (over 120 political leaders are expected): “No Head of State or Government has asked us to postpone COP21 – on the contrary, they all want to be there. Otherwise, we would be surrendering to terrorism, he stated. The police may be tired but they are mobilized and fully committed. This mobilization will continue. COP21 is an essential event for the future of our planet, for humanity.”

But COP21 could be “restricted to negotiations”. “The organizational conditions mean that a whole series of events will not take place. Some concerts and other largely entertainment-based events will without doubt be cancelled,” said Manuel Valls.
As regards the Global March for Climate planned on 29 November, “the organizers are meeting today. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the question of whether to hold that event or not will be discussed,” he continued.
We must be clear that “nothing must be done to endanger the people demonstrating in Paris, including via crowd movements. And since we have to organize this major climate meeting at the same time (…), the security forces must focus on what is most important.”

Laurent Fabius: “The COP will go ahead”

The day after the attacks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and incoming COP21 President Laurent Fabius gave a statement in Vienna, Austria, where he was attending a meeting on Syria, saying that “the COP will go ahead”. “There will be increased security but COP21 is absolutely essential in order to combat climate disruption and naturally it will be held as planned.”

Ségolène Royal: COP21 must take place “now more than ever”

Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal, contacted by Le Point magazine, replied that postponing COP21 is out of the question: “On the contrary, now more than ever! Otherwise, we would be giving in to terrorism.”

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