Upcoming UN climate change summit in Bonn "most important" since Paris climate: official

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-14 20:11:35|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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BERLIN, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The German government is placing high hopes in the UN global climate conference to be held in Bonn later this year, describing the event as the "most important climate conference since Paris" on Friday.

Jochen Flasbarth, German secretary of state for the environment, said that the United States' decision to abandon the Paris climate accord gave the meeting in Bonn between Nov. 6 and 17 added significance.

"Bonn will be at the center of world events in November," Flasbarth said. The key question was whether the momentum of Paris could be saved despite Washington's abandonment of the climate deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump was isolated with his position on climate change at the recent G20 summit in Hamburg. All other heads of state in attendance, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to join forces in reducing CO2 emissions caused by human activity.

Flasbarth did not expect the outcome of upcoming German federal elections in September to influence Germany's negotiation position as there was a broad consensus on combatting climate change within the domestic party landscape.

Although Germany will technically host the UN conference, it will officially be held under the leadership of the government of Fiji, a Pacific island nation which is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Flasbarth said that the conference would be an "enormous logistical challenge." Germany expects to spend around 120 million euros (137 million U.S. dollars) on the organization of the summit. Security concerns forming a focal point for authorities following clashes between protestors and authorities during the Hamburg G20 summit.

Residents were shocked and dismayed by a trail of destruction left by left-wing extremists from across Europe in their city. Shops were looted, cars set ablaze and hundreds of police officers injured.

Nonetheless, Flasbarth was optimistic about the prospects of the UN climate conference saying, "I think it's a huge chance for Bonn, a huge chance for Germany."

He believes that Bonn's position against other more prominent UN locations such as Geneva will be strengthened as a result.

German authorities expect 25,000 guests to attend the conference, including government representatives, non-governmental organizations and 1,500 journalists.