France bans COP21 climate marches in face of security risks
Massive climate marches planned in Paris around the COP21 climate talks will not go ahead because of security issues, the French Government has said.
Up to 200,000 people were expected to attend marches on 29 November and 12 December – bookending the climate talks.
However the French Government has issued a statement saying it would not authorize the marches "in order to avoid additional risks” in the wake of last week’s terror attacks.
The authorities said that all demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured could go ahead.
Greenpeace France executive director Jean-Francois Juilliard said the cancellation of the marches was a “source of huge regret”, but that the decision would be respected.
He added: “Huge numbers were expected in Paris, but those people will not be silenced. We will find new, imaginative ways to ensure our voices are heard in the UN conference centre and beyond.
“And in hundreds of towns and cities across the world people will still march for the climate, for Paris and for our shared humanity. We stand for a vision of human cooperation that the murderers sought to extinguish. They will not succeed.”
“Now it’s even more important for people everywhere to march on the weekend of 29 November on behalf of those who can’t, and show that we are more determined than ever to meet the challenges facing humanity with hope, not fear.”
'Cannot be silenced'
Approximately 130 NGOs have been involved in planning the marches, with representatives saying they will now attempt to boost the demonstrations in other parts of the world and take to social media.
Nicolas Haeringer, a spokesperson for 350.org said in a statement: “The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but it cannot stop the mobilization and it won’t prevent us strengthening the climate movement. Our voices will not be silenced”.
French and UN officials confirmed earlier this week that the conference itself would go ahead as planned, with added security.
Up to 20,000 diplomats, politicians and officals from 190 countries are expected at the talks, including President Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinpeng.