COP21: Paris attacks ‘will help climate talks’ – BBC News – 29 Nov 15

 

BBC NEWS

 

 

How will the Paris attacks affect COP21 negotiations?

I think the atrocities will clearly make a big difference to the mood, it will change the political mood, and in quite a lot of ways I think that will be helpful, because it will bind the leaders together. They have already been spending a lot of time talking to each other about a big problem, now they are in Paris to talk about another big problem. So I think it will help, in the sense that it will help create a more co-operative mood.

Will discussions on terrorism be high on the agenda at COP21?

They will all have been briefed by their security people about the connection between climate change and refugees, and therefore terrorism. So the importance of climate change as an issue, as a more strategic geo-political issue, will be higher up in their mind than it otherwise would have been, and I think that will therefore raise the likelihood of getting an agreement.

How will constraints affect COP21?

I think this will be far less of a celebration than it would otherwise have been, particularly because the main demonstrations have been cancelled. So you won’t have the civil society, the colourful, cheerful optimistic thing that you saw in New York, for instance, and that’s a constraint. You will also see a very big military presence, and the inevitably has a dampening effect.

What are the risks of cancelling the demonstrations?

The risk of that is you have a lot of people turn up and you have nowhere organised for them to go, and they are milling around in the streets with a lot of soldiers. What’s going to happen is that the organisers of the very big demonstrations are going to ask people to use social networking, ask them to march somewhere else for them. So that there’s a whole piece of quite deliberately discharging that, and there will be quite a lot of cultural activities, things are not involving large crowds, big group of people which are hard to manage, with the possibility of them being used as cover for disruptive activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About tomburke

Tom Burke is the Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, and an Environmental Policy Adviser (part time) to Rio Tinto plc. He is a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a member of the External Review Committee of Shell and the Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board of Unilever and a Trustee of the Black-E Community Arts Project, Liverpool.
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