Around 150 world leaders are believed to have gathered in Paris today, demonstrating a global commitment to restrict future temperature rises on the planet at the UN climate conference. Both American President #Barack Obama and Britain’s Prince Charles have already spoken at the ambitious ‘COP21’ meeting, which seeks to lower carbon emissions across the world and to limit global warming to 2C (3.6F).

Obama hinted at “turning point”

Several experts have already suggested that even a limit of 2C may be insufficient to have the desired effect, but Obama was more positive as he intimated that the conference could be a “turning point” in saving the planet. The US leader was adamant in his resolve, as he challenged those involved in the negotiations by commenting that the “next generation is watching.”

It is expected that almost 200 countries will have negotiators involved in the talks, as they seek to thrash out an acceptable and mutually agreeable deal within two weeks.

Prince Charles hopes for “a saner future”

The Prince of Wales was equally forthright in his address to the delegates. The future King of England believes that climate change forms the greatest threat to humanity and referred to the possibility of “a saner future” as a result of an agreement. On a personal note, Prince Charles urged the attendees to consider their grandchildren (their future) “the same as I think of mine.”

With so many countries involved in the high-profile and far-reaching discussions, security levels after the recent Paris attacks will have been extremely rigorous. It is believed that never before have so many world leaders been in the same place on the same day.

Challenge for developing countries

It will be interesting to see how well received the challenging targets are from the developing countries point of view, given that many of them are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels for their future development and economic prospects. A rapid move towards more renewable sources of energy could put a heavy strain on their economies without assistance (including financially) from the developed world. The topic is sure to be discussed during the ongoing negotiations.

Bill Gates’ launches initiative

Leading philanthropist and business magnate Bill Gates has also launched a multibillion-pound initiative to tie in with the start of the summit. According to GreenWire (an independent climate newswire service), the investment will fund clean energy research and development costs, as Gates looks to work with other countries in a collaborative manner.

Gates has joined up with other leading figures for the collaboration, including Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson as they aim to create affordable and reliable clean energy across the planet.  #Nature #United Nations