French President Francois Hollande said the world was at “breaking point” in the fight against global warming. The U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, urged each other to find common cause in two weeks of bargaining to steer the global economy away from its dependence on fossil fuels, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Reuters.
Warnings from climate scientists, demands from activists and exhortations from religious leaders like Pope Francis have coupled with major advances in cleaner energy sources like solar power to raise pressure for cuts in carbon emissions held responsible for warming the planet.
Most scientists say failure to agree on strong measures in Paris would doom the world to ever-hotter average temperatures, bringing with them deadlier storms, more frequent droughts and rising sea levels as polar ice caps melt.
Facing such alarming projections, the leaders of nations responsible for about 90 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have come bearing pledges to reduce their national carbon output, through different measures at different rates.
For some, climate change has become a pressing issue at home. As the summit opened in Paris, the capitals of the world’s two most populous nations, China and India, were blanketed in hazardous, choking smog, with Beijing on “orange” pollution alert, the second-highest level.
In Paris security has been tightened after Islamist militant attacks killed 130 people on November 13, and Hollande said he could not separate “the fight with terrorism from the fight against global warming.” Leaders must face both challenges, leaving their children “a world freed of terror” as well as one “protected from catastrophes”.
On the eve of the summit, an estimated 785,000 people from Australia to Paraguay joined the biggest day of climate change activism in history, telling world leaders there was “No Planet B” in the fight against global warming.