World leaders call for action on Climate Change Top story

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In short
Close to 150 global leaders have been meeting in Paris at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference.

The UN annual Climate conference opened on Monday in Paris France with some of the world leaders urging for a strong legal regime and commitment to fight climate Change.

The two-week long crucial global conference on climate change started with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the recent terror attacks in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande received over 150 heads of states. Hollande said never have the stakes been so high because this is about the future of the planet, the future of life.

Hollande said that while the fight against terrorism and the fight against climate change are separate battles, "these are two great challenges we must rise to."

U.S. President Barack Obama said United States recognizes its role in contributing to climate change and its responsibility to address it.

Obama said that a global climate change agreement should have updating targets. "Here in Paris, let's secure an agreement that builds in ambition, where progress paves the way for regularly updated targets," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged for more technologies to curb emission cuts. He says while Russia had managed to double its Gross Domestic Product, it has demonstrated that we can ensure economic development and take care of our environment at the same time.
He said Paris should end in "a legally binding agreement" and it involve the participation of developed and developing countries and be comprehensive, effective and equitable. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said this is the first time that we have an opportunity to attain this goal of an agreement. She called on the Developed counties to take the lead in the fight against global warming. "We caused emissions in the past so must be at the vanguard in future," she said.

South African President, Jacob Zuma also condemned act of terror. He used the occasion to call on richer countries to stump up promised cash and more. He said the Paris Agreement should not only focus on mitigation measures and that a global goal on adaptation must be part of the agreement.

This conference this time around decided to rally for support of political leaders around the worlds as the technocrats engage into two weeks of negotiations.

President Museveni had been expected to speak at the opening ceremony but he did travel to Paris. Museveni who has just been hosting Pope Francis delegated his Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi to the high-level summit. 

Uganda has been playing a role in the Climate Change negotiation at the time when Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa was the President of the UN General Assembly.

Meanwhile UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said the Paris UN Climate Conference represents an historic opportunity to put the world on course to meet the climate change challenge.

She said the world needs a new model of growth that is safe, durable and beneficial to all. Figueres said the Paris Agreement is not only possible, it is necessary and urgent.