FrANCE About 150 heads of state and government gathered in Paris on the first day of the UN Climate Conference. The world’s leaders promised to act in order to avert the climate threat. But there are obvious conflicts prior to the negotiations for a new global climate agreement.

The stakes at an international meeting have never been so high, because it’s a matter of the future of our planet,” said French President François Hollande.

US President Barack Obama warned of submerged countries, abandoned cities and growing conflicts if the climate threat is not averted.

“No nation, big or small, rich or poor, is immune against what the climate changes mean,” he said.

China’s President Xi Jinping assured the Conference of his country’s engagement in the climate issue and pledged to cut emissions after they peak around 2030.

India’s Prime Minister Narandra Modi stressed the responsibility of the rich countries for the climate threat and called upon them to reduce their emissions significantly, to share their green energy technology and contribute more to fund the climate measures of poor countries. Similar demands came from many developing countries.

“In the small carbon dioxide leeway that remains, the developing countries must have room to grow,” said Modi.

Environmental organisation Greenpeace welcomed the initiatives to take action on the climate that were presented, but was disappointed that few of the leaders of the rich world came with new promises to reduce emissions at home.

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