Just weeks after the city was ravaged by a terrorist attack, President Obama said next week’s international talks on climate change in Paris would be a “powerful rebuke” to terrorists.
“I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference,” Obama said Tuesday during a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande. “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”
Obama and other administration officials have been criticized for their insistence that climate change is a threat to national security on par with terrorism.
Obama and dozens of other international leaders will participate in an event at the conference Monday, but he will leave Tuesday, and the conference will continue until at least Dec. 11.
Hollande also said that holding the conference is a good sign in the fight against the Islamic State and recognized the significance of 150 world leaders coming to the city.
“I certainly could not imagine that this conference would be taking place against such a background,” Hollande said at the news conference. “At the same time, I think there cannot be a better symbol for response but to hold a conference in Paris where the attacks took place, where we took the right measures in terms of security, protections, as well as in defending our values.”
“There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris,” he added.
“Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They are coming to sort out the climate challenge and, again, to work and to find the right agreements so that we can limit greenhouse gas emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live,” Hollande said. “But they are also coming to express their support to freedom, to the fight against extremism, that radical Islam, which is becoming dangerous.”