France bans massive marches planned during Paris climate talks

 France will not allow planned marches to go ahead on Nov. 29 and Dec. 12 during international climate talks in Paris because of security concerns, the government said on Wednesday.

However, it said in a statement that all demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured would be allowed to go ahead.

“In order to avoid additional risks, the government has decided not to authorise climate marches planned in public places in Paris and other French cities on Nov. 29 and Dec. 12,” the statement said.

Environmental activists have hoped the marches would attract perhaps 200,000 people to put pressure on governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

They have had to rethink their plans following attacks by militant Islamists in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people.

Groups have been planning the marches for months. They said they may shift their focus now to mobilising marches in other cities around the world.

“The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but it cannot stop the mobilisation and it won’t prevent us strengthening the climate movement. Our voices will not be silenced,” French campaigner Nicolas Haeringer with 350.org group said in a statement.

About 118 world leaders are expected to attend the opening day of the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 conference, which is meant to nail down a global deal to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday that no foreign leaders had asked France to postpone the summit, a move he said would amount to “abdicating to the terrorists”.

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