France to pare side events at Paris climate talks

French President Francois Hollande, right, listens to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls after a security meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris, France, November 14 2015. (Jacques Brinon, AP)
French President Francois Hollande, right, listens to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls after a security meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris, France, November 14 2015. (Jacques Brinon, AP)

Paris - Upcoming UN climate talks in Paris will focus on the negotiations, and "a whole series" of side events will be cancelled, the French prime minister said on Monday.

Speaking three days after Paris was hit by devastating jihadist attacks, Manuel Valls said the city would be the "capital of the world" when the crunch climate talks kick off on November 30.

"No head of state, of government – on the contrary – has asked us to postpone this meeting. All want to be there," Valls said on RTL radio.

"To do otherwise would, I believe, be to yield to terrorism."

"France will be the capital of the world," he said, adding the conference would "probably" be reduced to the negotiation.

"We are in the process of looking at that but everything which was outside of the COP (climate talks), a whole series of concerts, of rather festive events, will be without a doubt cancelled," Valls added.

Islamic State jihadists have claimed a series of coordinated attacks late on Friday by gunmen and suicide bombers who killed at least 129 people in scenes of carnage at a concert hall, restaurants and the national stadium.

US President Barack Obama still intends to attend the climate talks, known by the UN acronym as COP21, a US official said on Saturday.

Obama will be one of more than 115 heads of state and government expected at the conference, taking place at Le Bourget outside Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The talks aim to forge a new international pact from 2020 to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gases that stoke climate change.

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