Who is attending and what are they trying to achieve?

About 40,000 ministers, officials, business executives, climate campaigners and journalists are expected to descend on the Le Bourget airfield convention centre north of central Paris. Delegates from 195 countries are due to finalise an agreement to cut global emissions of the greenhouse gases scientists warn are on track to warm the planet to risky levels.  Governments have sought to do this since 1992, when they met in Rio de Janeiro and agreed the first global warming accord — the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its chief aim was to stabilise greenhouse gases at a level that would avoid dangerous levels of warming. But with most of those gases coming from burning fossil fuels — which power almost every country’s economy — the talks have been deadlocked for decades as governments bicker over the extent to which each should cut their emissions and who should bear the costs.

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