LE BOURGET, France – More than 100 world leaders will attend the upcoming U.N. climate conference in Paris, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, France’s foreign minister said Sunday during a three-day ministerial meeting in the capital to prepare the negotiations.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Putin has accepted an invitation to attend the conference in Paris. He will be among the speakers on the conference’s first day, along with President Barack Obama and the leaders of India and China.
The Kremlin hasn’t confirmed Putin’s participation at the so-called COP 21 talks, which aim to reach the most ambitious accord to date limiting emissions that cause global warming.
Organizers expect at least 40,000 people in addition to thousands of activists from environmental, human rights and other groups to attend the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 conference.
Fabius spoke during a meeting of foreign and environment ministers to prepare the way for the climate conference’s final negotiations.
“The purpose of these three days is to find the road of compromise on as many issues as possible,” Fabius told senior officials from more than 70 countries.
One key issue to be discussed is how rich countries can provide financial and other support to help developing countries reduce emissions.
The foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, told The Associated Press that “the most important thing that is at stake is the survival of my country. We need to get an agreement that’s going to ensure the most vulnerable states will not be forgotten.”
The Marshall Islands is among the small island states that fear they will be submerged by rising seas caused by global warming.
The Paris climate conference will gather 196 parties to reach an agreement aiming at limiting the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) between pre-industrial times and the end of the century.
Associated Press writer Greg Keller in Paris contributed to this report.