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PM Modi to attend climate change conference in Paris

Modi will join US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Brazil, S Africa and Canada amongst others.

New Delhi |
Updated: December 25, 2015 11:17:11 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 80 other world leaders will attend the two-week climate change conference in Paris this year, raising expectations that a global climate agreement would finally be stitched together, host France announced on Wednesday.

The climate conference, called Conference of Parties, or COP, in official language, parties being a reference to the countries that have signed on to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is held every year, but this time the countries are attempting to finalise an agreement that has eluded them for at least seven years.

The last time the countries made a similar attempt was in 2009 in Copenhagen. The excitement that time had prompted more than 110 heads of states to fly to the Denmark capital, one of the largest congregation of world leaders, only to witness a grand failure.

This time, host France has been careful to invite the leaders at the start of the conference and not at the end as in Copenhagen. This way, the heads of states will only lend their collective political weight to the climate goals and not try to rescue failed negotiations as they had been forced to do in Copenhagen.

Modi will join US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Brazil, South Africa and Canada amongst others, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told journalists in Paris.

The last round of formal negotiations before Paris ended in Bonn last week. Countries are trying to forge an agreement that will bring down greenhouse gas emissions which are the reason for global warming.

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