Obama calls Paris climate summit an 'act of defiance'

US President Barack Obama says UN climate summit represents 'act of defiance' following deadly Paris attacks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama speaks at the COP21 at the climate change summit in Paris, France November 30, 2015.

US President Barack Obama gave a speech at the UN climate summit on Monday saying the summit was an "act of defiance."

Obama's speech took place in front more than 150 world leaders, and he said they had gathered in Paris to show their solidarity against terrorism.

"We have come to Paris to show our resolve ... to protect our people, and to uphold the enduring values that keep us strong and keep us free," the US President stated, adding, "We salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on."

Obama said that the summit was a "rejection of those who would tear down our world" and linked climate change and terrorism, saying, “[We want] a declaration that, for all the challenges we face, climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other."

Between developed and developing countries, current international agreements will remain in force until 2020. But if leaders do not agree to reducing carbon usage and restrain current emissions, the world will be in danger of temperature increases by 5C - levels that could cause dramatic changes in weather conditions.

During his speech Obama remarked on the effects of climate change and warned of "Submerged countries; abandoned cities; fields that no longer grow; political disruptions that trigger new conflict; and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking sanctuary in nations not their own."

He also said that the United States had realized its responsibility as the world’s largest economy and called the leaders to be unified in the summit. He urged a "common purpose [for a] world that is not marked not by conflict but by cooperation – not by human suffering but human progress."

Representatives from the countries have met to discuss the global fight against climate change in Paris and tried to find a common solution to climate change.

Leaders from around the world at the summit have spent the majority of their time making speeches and gathering for bilateral discussions with other world leaders, while negotiators have continued meeting to prepare the draft text of an agreement.

TRTWorld and agencies