Around 50 leaders set for Paris climate summit

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Around 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for a major climate summit this month but US President Donald Trump will skip it, the French presidency said Monday.

China and India's leaders won't attend the December 12 meeting either, though each will send a minister, in what is billed as a follow-up to the landmark Paris climate accord reached in 2015.

Around 100 leaders were invited to what President Emmanuel Macron called the One Planet Summit in July following Trump's announcement that he would withdraw the United States from the agreement that has been signed by 197 countries and territories.

The list of confirmed attendees includes British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy as well as around 10 African heads of state and leaders from under-threat Pacific islands, the French presidency said.

Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio will add a smattering of Hollywood glamour, while Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Bloomberg feature among the Americans who plan to attend.

The US government will be represented by a low-ranking official from the Paris embassy.

In total, around 2,000 people from government and the private sector are anticipated and "around 10 major announcements" can be expected, according to a presidency official.

Macron has publicly disagreed with Trump about his stance on climate change and has lobbied him to reconsider his position and reevaluate US funding cuts for the UN's IPCC climate science body.

The Paris summit follows another high-level gathering on climate change in the German city of Bonn last month where around 25 heads of government met, including Macron, who called climate change "the most significant struggle of our time."


© 2017 AFP

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