Economy

Allaying fears, France insists climate change meet will be held

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018

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Travel sector hit; IT industry issues advisory





The terrorist attack in Paris is not only dominating the ongoing G-20 Summit in Turkey, but has also raised questions over France’s security apparatus and methods to deal with such incidents as the country gears up to host the Climate Change conference in December.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently attending the G-20 summit, will leave for Paris after concluding his Singapore visit later this month to attend the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties or COP21 on November 30. Officials told BusinessLine that governments across the world have already started questioning on the security apparatus and the preparedness of the French authorities to ensure that the COP21 takes place smoothly.

More than 50 other heads of states and governments are expected to attend this summit as they negotiate a crucial a new global climate change agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Meanwhile, France has “vowed” that it will enhance the security measures for the upcoming summit. France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has assured that COP21 is going to be held as scheduled. “It will be held with enhanced security measures but it is absolutely essential to take action against climate change and, of course, it will be held,” he has said.

“This (the recent attacks) will obviously put a lot of pressure on French authorities and visiting dignitaries will be worried so there is going to be lot of dialogue now between the security personnel of all countries. The security arrangements need to be now doubled up in Paris. However, reach of is not that effective enough that they will be able to disrupt a conference of that scale,” said Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary and India’s Ambassador to France from 1998-2002.

According to Nandan Unnikrishnan, Vice-President and Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, “The world leaders should assemble in Paris. Terrorists cannot be allowed to disrupt daily lives…Sure, the dialogue on security is going to increase and ISIS is emerging as a major threat in the world. The summit should go ahead as planned but more stringent measures have to be taken.”

Alarm bells

Meanwhile, in India, immediate impact of the attack in Paris, which is a popular tourist destination, was evident. According to travel portal Yatra.com, 4-5 lakh Indian travellers visit France on an annual basis.

“Paris is one of the biggest travel destinations. We are also definitely seeing postponement from people who were planning to travel in the next 10-15 days, but had not done their bookings,” said Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com.

The Indian IT industry also had alarm bells ringing with HCL Tech, which has a substantial presence in Europe, issuing an advisory to all its employees based in Paris suggesting them to stay indoors.

(With inputs from S Ronendra Singh and Navadha Pandey)

Published on November 15, 2015

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