Date
24 May 2017
Smoke rises from chimneys on a hazy day in Dezhou in China’s Shandong province. World leaders will gather in Paris next week for a UN climate change summit. Photo: Reuters
Smoke rises from chimneys on a hazy day in Dezhou in China’s Shandong province. World leaders will gather in Paris next week for a UN climate change summit. Photo: Reuters

Obama to meet Xi and Modi on first day of Paris climate talks

Barack Obama will meet the leaders of China and India on the first day of the Paris climate talks on Nov. 30 to give momentum to the two-week UN negotiations, US officials said on Tuesday.

Obama’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of the climate summit is aimed at sending “a strong message to the world” about the need for tackling climate change, officials said.

Nearly 140 world leaders have confirmed their attendance at the opening day of the UN Climate Change conference that runs until Dec. 11, Reuters reported.

Paul Bodnar, senior director for energy and climate change at the White House National Security Council, was quoted as saying that Obama’s meetings with Xi and Modi are not meant to yield announcements but to consult on key negotiations issues.

“These two countries are two of our most important partners in dealing with global climate change,” he said.

Obama will also meet with leaders of island nations such as the Seychelles and Marshall Islands that are threatened by rising sea levels.

The fact that over 170 countries have put forward targets and strategies to curb their greenhouse gas emissions post-2020 shows “unprecedented progress” that will “significantly bend down the global emissions curve”, Bodnar said.

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RC

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