French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting a United Nations (UN) climate summit in Paris on Tuesday to discuss financing issues for a landmark climate deal clinched two years ago.
Leaders from around the world will attend the One Planet Summit to be held on Ile Seguin, an island on the Seine River, southwest of Paris, amid tight security.
Some 3,100 security personnel will be patrolling around the capital for the gathering, and extra patrol boats will be sailing along the river.
The United Nations (UN)’s chief, Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Spain’s Premier Mariano Rajoy, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will be among the attendees.
The United States, which under its new president has initiated a withdrawal from the climate deal, will be represented by an embassy official as President Donald Trump has not been invited.
Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the historic 2015 Paris climate accord on limiting carbon emissions in June.
The deal is aimed at capping global warming at “well under” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.
A cash crisis will top the agenda at the summit, where world leaders will discuss financing issues.
Analysts have warned that without trillions of dollars of investment in clean energy, the deal’s goal will remain a pipe dream.
UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said political action “will not be enough if we do not update and reset the global finance architecture and make all development low-emission, resilient, and sustainable.”
Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which represents poor country interests at the UN climate forum in Paris, said, “The missing piece of the jigsaw is the funding to help the world’s poorer countries access clean energy so they don’t follow the fossil fuel-powered path of the rich world.”
Macron hopes Trump will change his mind
On Monday, Macron reminded Trump of his responsibility toward history over his decision to withdraw political and financial support for the deal.
“I’m sorry to say that, it doesn’t fly, so, so sorry but I think it is a big responsibility in front of the history, and I’m pretty sure that my friend President Trump will change his mind in the coming months or years, I do hope,” Macron said in an interview aired on CBS
“It’s extremely aggressive to decide on its own just to leave, and no way to push the others to renegotiate because one decided to leave the floor,” he said.
Climate activists demonstrate at summit
At the beginning of the summit, a few hundred activists protested in front of the domed Pantheon monument on Paris’ Left Bank.
The protesters unfurled a massive sheet that looked like a wave of oil and held a huge banner that read “Not one more euro for energies of the past.”