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Paris climate change talks begin on 30 November Reuters

World leaders have gathered in Paris for the COP21 climate change talks. The conference will run between 30 November and 11 December and by the end, it is hoped nations will have come to an agreement to limit emissions in order to prevent global warming surpassing 2C above pre-industrial levels.

On the first day, the Leaders Event will see heads of state and government arrive, meet and attend a lunch put on by French president Francis Hollande. In the afternoon participating nations will be invited to make opening statements, with speeches starting at midday.

IBTimes UK followed the first day as each nation laid out their plans and visions for COP21.


The world leaders have finished speaking. Now countries will start their negotiations in the hope of making a deal in the next 11 days.


Here's the announcement on the International Solar Alliance.

India and France have launched an International Solar Alliance to boost solar energy in developing countries.

The initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November by Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi and French President Francois Hollande.

The alliance includes around 120 countries that support the "Declaration on the occasion to launch the international solar alliance of countries dedicated to the promotion of solar energy".


Iran vice-president Masoumeh Ebtekar, first pointed to the carbon footprint of conflict, war and terrorism. "Those perpetuating conflict are part of the global warming processes," she said, adding the root causes of terrorism need to be addressed.

Ebtekar also said Iran is looking to implement a robust low carbon and green economy, but said agreements must be balanced – noting the common but differentiated responsibilities. She said an agreement must be inclusive for all, with "no party left behind".


Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Vice-President of the Council of State and Ministers of Cuba, pointed to the Rio Earth Summit 23 years ago, when Fidel Castro warned how an "important biological species" was at risk of becoming extinct because of mankind. He said Castro said there was only one real solution back then – "a change in patterns of production and consumption".

"Humanity has placed its hopes in the results of this conference," he said, adding it was almost too late 23 years ago. "Today it is immoral to postpone international action," he said. "We the developing countries will do what we should do."


WWF-UK's Chief Executive, David Nussbaum, has reacted to Prince Charles' opening statement at COP21: "HRH The Prince of Wales' spoke from the heart and set exactly the right tone for the start of the Paris climate talks. As he says, we have the knowledge, the tools and the money to put us on the right low-carbon path for 2030.

"I hope the negotiators here in Paris will follow his plea and don't lose sight of international necessities over national interests. The climate talks need to bring us a step closer to a low-carbon future for all."


Greenpeace has commented on David Cameron's COP21 speech. Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: "David Cameron has made a passionate appeal to fellow world leaders for a robust climate deal. The prime minister must now persuade his Chancellor to support it with real action back home.

"The UK's pioneering climate targets and the recent coal phase-out plan show that where Britain leads other countries follow. But we need to see the same UK leadership in the race to develop and invest in renewable technologies. This is what Britain's leading businesses, scientists, and the government's own advisers are urging Cameron to do - he should listen."


Mahamat Kamoun, Prime Minister of Central African Republic, said he wants to emerge from COP21 with positive results. If it fails, he said, we will all be responsible.

He pointed to an acute lack of food resources and said CAR is committed to sustainable development. "It is really obvious disaster is on our doorstep. We need bold and ambitious responses," he said.

Kamoun said CAR is committed to reduce emissions by at least 5% by 2030 and 25% by 2050, as well as increasing its potential for carbon capture. However, he said significant financial and technical assistance must be provided.


World Health Organization: A strong climate change agreement is a strong health agreement. WHO releases its key messages for COP21, saying climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths every year by the 2030s.

"Poorer populations and children are disproportionately at risk, with different impacts on women and men," it said. "Overall, climate change is expected to widen existing health inequalities, both between and within populations."

Read more here


Modi said: "Over the next few days we will decide the fate of this planet. We do so when the consequences of the industrial age powered by fossil fuel are evident, especially on the lives of the poor. The prosperous still have a strong carbon footprint and the world's billions are seeking space to grow. So the choices are not easy. But we have advances in technology, we need now a genuine global partnership."

He said India is guided by an "ancient belief" that the people and planet are inseparable – that human wellbeing and nature are indivisible. For this reason, Modi said, India has set a target of reducing emissions by between 33-35% of 2005 levels by 2030. He also said they would produce 40% of its power from non-fossil fuels by this time.

Modi added, however, that the "common but differentiated responsibility must remain the bedrock" of the talks – in that developed countries that produced most emissions should be most responsible. He said energy is a basic human need, so emission technology is needed. However, he also said India still requires "conventional energy", so it is important an end to its use is not imposed upon his nation.

"The presence of 196 countries tells us we have a chance to unite in a common purpose," he said. "I'm confident we will."


Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is now talking at COP21 watch here


Obama and Modi speaking on the sidelines of COP21


Here's Obama's speech from earlier today

COP21: Barack Obama says Paris climate conference ‘a turning point’ IBTimes UK


Sweden's Stefan Löfven said his country will be one of the first fossil free nations in the world. "[We need to] accelerate a new green industrial revolution that will be ever as transformative as the one 250 years ago. But this time change must be global. It must build on renewables and it must be fair," he said. "We have a duty to those countries that did not cause emissions but are most vulnerable to their effects."

He said because of this duty Sweden will be making substantial contributions to the adaptation fund and least developed countries fund. He said Paris should not be seen as the end but as a beginning and one that we should use to "push us forward onto the right path".


Cameron asking what our grandchildren would ask if we fail to make a deal at Paris COP21. He asked how we would respond if they were to ask what was so difficult about coming to an agreement. "What was so difficult when the earth was in peril? When the sea levels were rising, when crops were failing?" he asked.

He pointed to several excuses, like binding agreements and legislation, but concluded: "Instead of making excuses, we should be taking action on climate change today. It's not difficult, it's doable. Therefore we should come together and do it."


David Cameron: "We're at the stage of this conference after a series of speeches where we can safely say every point that needs to be made has been made – but not by every speaker.

"We need a deal that keeps 2C alive. A deal with a binding legal mechanism. A deal with a five year review, a deal for the poorest and most vulnerable. A deal that we can measure and verify and one that transfers technology from the richest to the poorest countries. We all know that."


David Cameron about to speak


Here's the family picture of the newly launched International Solar Alliance. Read more about the alliance here.


Greece's Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras said despite the social and economic crisis, it is working to limit climate change.

"Climate change constitutes a global threat to security. Its effects can exacerbate resource competition. Intense natural disasters and extreme poverty will affect the most vulnerable. Greece is currently experiencing an unprecedented refugee crisis and human despair and will give political priority to prevent climate change displacement risk.

"I hope all of us in this room will not prove ourselves short of the circumstances, I hope we will not allow future generations to blame us for not seizing the opportunity. We are here to take historical steps and we should take them here and now."


Juncker said: "We do know today the risks we face tomorrow. It's a question of political will and action and that is what is at stake at this conference."

He said it is possible to bequeath a better planet to future generations: "This isn't a dream, it's a reality that is within our reach," he said, but warned the "clock is ticking increasingly quickly". Juncker said we currently need four planets to fulfil our energy requirements: "We only have one," he added.

"The world's resources may be finite, but human creativity is inexhaustible. This transition will not be easy, we will need to help one another.

"We must do more in the years ahead. And others should follow our example. A new global dynamic has appeared, however this is not yet enough to limit global warming to within 2C. Promises will no longer be enough."


Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission of the European Union, is now speaking.


On the first day of COP21, pollution reached its worst level of the year in Beijing, with authorities maintaining a rare "orange" alert for a second consecutive day. Images show the city blanketed in a cloud of thick grey smog - see our photo gallery here.

Beijing pollution
The skyline of Beijing\'s Central Business District is seen on 23/27 October and 27/28 November, 2015 Kevin Frayer/Getty)


Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, said openness is essential to talks. She said world leaders need to agree how to take stock globally, to assess where we are and guide future emissions.

"Norway will do its share. We will reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels," she said.

"Norway will work constructively with all parties to make Paris a success. This is no time for tactics or game playing ... we must live up to the world's expectations. We must make COP21 the turning point."


Meanwhile Francis Hollande and India's Narendra Modi have launched a new international solar alliance at COP21. "The sun is the source of all energy. The world must turn to solar, the power of our future," Modi said.