World leaders including the US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have landed in Paris for a high-stakes climate summit. Even before the two-week long negotiations to chalk out a plan to curb global warming began, developed nations have taken the initiative to help poor countries adapt to climate change. The US, Canada, and nine European countries have pledged $250 million to help vulnerable countries develop new agricultural practices for a warmer climate and boost their preparedness to cope with droughts, rising seas, and other impacts of global warming.
Paris climate summit begins with a moment of silence
The pledge was announced at the start of the Paris climate summit on Monday. Germany would contribute $53 million, followed by the US with $51 million and the UK with $45 million. Other countries included Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The least developed countries had been demanding funds for adoption to the changing climate.
The international Red Cross had called for delegates at Paris climate summit to make it a priority to help poor and vulnerable countries deal with the impact of global warming. The summit began at the Le Bourget airfield near Paris with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the deadly Islamist attacks in the city on Nov.13. A series of warnings from scientists, demand from environmental activists, and greater push from religious leaders like Pope Francis have heightened the pressure to reduce carbon emissions.
Trying to avoid the repeat of Copenhagen disaster
Climate scientists have warned that failure to hammer out a strong deal in Paris would lead to even hotter temperatures in coming decades. Rising temperatures would cause more frequent droughts, deadlier storms, and rising sea levels. Leaders from 151 countries have gathered in Paris to pledge to cut their national carbon output, though each nation will have its own goal. Last year, the US pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
The previous attempt to reach a global deal in Copenhagen in 2009 collapsed in chaos. To avoid the repeat of Copenhagen disaster, the world leaders will make a cameo appearance before the talks began. Each leader will also be allowed a brief opening speech to build the momentum for consensus.