Modi and Hollande announce new solar alliance at climate change summit

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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, together with French president Francois Hollande, has announced an international solar energy alliance of 120 countries, hailing it “the sunrise of new hope”.

The grouping aims to raise US$400 million (Dh1.5 billion) from member countries and multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank, to invest in solar power research and usage, address regulatory issues, and draft universal standards.

World leaders pledge change at climate talks

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World leaders vowed on Monday to save mankind from catastrophic climate change as a historic summit opened with the “hope of all humanity” laid on their shoulders.

The heads of more than 150 nations — a record — kicked off 12 days of talks in search of an elusive pact that would shift the world economy away from its heavy use of fossil fuels blamed for global warming.

China smog at crippling levels as climate talks open

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Choking smog blanketed Beijing and much of northern China on Monday, while a new Chinese report raised the alarm about rising sea levels.

As climate change talks opened in Paris, the US embassy in Beijing recorded concentrations of PM2.5 – tiny airborne particles which embed deeply in the lung – at 625 micrograms per cubic metre. That is 25 times above the World Health Organisation’s 25 microgram recommended maximum.

Paris conference must reach agreement on climate action

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The long-awaited climate change conference, COP 21, in Paris will go ahead from tomorrow, as planned, despite security concerns after the recent terrorist attacks in the French capital. About 50,000 participants, including 127 heads of state, are expected to travel to the conference, which some environmentalists view as the last chance to strike a global agreement on combating climate change.

Following the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference to reach a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, all parties have been negotiating for a new and acceptable agreement by 2015, to be implemented in 2020. However, the shadow of the Paris attacks is likely to affect the negotiations both negatively and positively.