November, 2015

 

Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News 11/30

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, in his 49th Independence Anniversary Message, says Barbados has been transformed and the lives of its people enriched by the changes which the country’s elevation to nationhood brought with it.

Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley, in her message, also observed that Barbados has made huge strides as an independent nation, the greatest of which is the education of the people of the country.  She says it is education that lifted families out of poverty and provided the skills to grow a young nation.

On the eve of the Independence Day holiday, and just two weeks shy of the start of the 2015-16 winter season, the flight path into and out of Barbados is starting to look like many of the world’s busiest airports.

No more than a “relatively small” amount of digital currencies such as Bitcoin should be used if the Central Bank  decides to include them in Barbados’ reserves.  That’s the advice coming from Barbadian  economists, Dr. Winston Moore and Jeremy Stephen who have produced a paper entitled :” Should Cryptocurrencies Be Included In The Portfolio of International Reserves Held By the Central Bank of Barbados?”

Britain’s leading travel Association, ABTA, is reporting “strong demand:” for travel to Barbados.

Dateline Basseterre, ST. KITTS:

Attorney-General Vincent Byron, has explained that the newly-launched Criminal Justice Strategic Board (CJSB) is designed to consolidate all the various justice-related departments and agencies in a bid to create a more efficient dispensing of justice.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

The Appeal Court in Trinidad and Tobago is expected to deliver its ruling today in the Appeal by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and six government members against the election petitions filed by the opposition United National Congress (UNC) to have the September 7 general election results in  six constituencies declared null and void.  The Appeal was heard earlier this month  in Port of Spain by a three-judge panel,  headed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie.


CARIBBEAT: Barbados marks 49th anniversary of independence this week — and kicks off the nation’s yearlong 50th birthday celebration

Source: New York Daily News

Barbados’ 49th anniversary of independence comes Monday – kicking off celebrations in the island and the diaspora.

From Lucy south down to Christ Church and throughout all the parishes, the people of Barbados will be celebrating the nation’s 49th anniversary of independence, which marks the start of celebrations for the island nation’s 50th birthday!

Under the theme, “Our Pride, the Broken Trident,” a commemorative broken trident will tour the island’s 11 parishes in a yearlong journey that begins Tuesday and ends on Nov. 29, 2016.

The celebratory broken trident was designed by Donna Redman and donated by the Williams Industries firm. A broken trident – representing the island’s transition from colonial rule to independence – is the centerpiece of the Barbados national flag.

In New York on Sunday, “A Church Service of Thanksgiving,” marking the independence anniversary, will be held in Brooklyn at First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, 450 Eastern Pkwy. (at Rogers Ave.), starting at 4 p.m.

The Rev. Garvey Ince, associate pastor of St. James AME Church in Newark, N.J., and Consul General Donna Hunte-Clarke of the Barbados Consulate in New York are among the special guests due at the event.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Caribbean Community of Nations (CARICOM) Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque were among the international VIPs issuing statements saying happy birthday to Barbados.

“The Community continues to benefit from the strong commitment of Barbados to regional integration. The country has willingly accepted and carried out its leadership role in integration and the Community looks forward to the continued vibrant involvement of Barbados in the consolidation and advancement of the process, as we seek to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable environment for the growth and well-being of our Community,” Secretary-General LaRocque said in a message to Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

In a message, Secretary of State Kerry’s remarks were made on behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States.

As you proudly play your anthem “In Plenty and In Time of Need,” know that we celebrate alongside you,” said Kerry. “The United States deeply values its friendship with Barbados based on our strong ties of commerce, security cooperation, people-to-people contacts, and culture. We are pleased to work with you both bilaterally and through regional arrangements to promote prosperity, protect the safety of our populations, diversify energy infrastructure, and increase educational and professional exchanges. I am confident that, in years to come, relations between our governments and our peoples will continue to thrive.”

Also marking the date: the Pre-concert Independence Extravaganza at LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre (presented by the Barbados Consulate) on Nov. 21, and Team Barbados and Cambridge Sports Club’s Presentation and Independence Dance Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Afrika House.

UP FOR A BAJAN QUIZ?

Think you know Barbados? Take the Barbados quiz on the Barbados Government Information Service website.

Check out this sample question:

Where is the Lawrence Johnson Roundabout?

a. Haggatt Hall, St. Michael

b. Warrens, St. Michael

c. Near the St. Thomas Church on Highway 2A

d. Near the St. Lucy Parish Church

To test your knowledge with all the questions, visit the Barbados Government Information Service website at http://gisbarbados.gov.bb to take test your knowledge with Questions About Barbados Anniversary Quiz.

INVESTING IN CARIBBEAN’S FUTURE

The “Invest Caribbean Now!” investment agency – working in the region on hotel financing, refinancing and expansion, as well as renovating and constructing apartments, villas and other projects – just got a confirmation on its private sector focus from a recent survey.

The recent KPMG 2015 Caribbean Hospitality Financing Survey found that non-banks are more bullish on Caribbean investment, with 17% reporting it is a good time to lend in the region – especially in Antigua, Turks & Caicos, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

With banks less bullish on lending, ICN has teamed up with global private lenders to offer multimillion-dollar financing for projects ranging from $5 million and up for major projects. And catering to the needs of small to medium Caribbean and Hispanic enterprises in the U.S. and Canada, ICN is also offering access to capital – low-interest loans and lines of credit of between $5,000 to $250,000 to qualified business owners seeking capital for expansion and growth.


Kobe Bryant announces his intention to retire

(CNN) – Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced his intention to retire at the end of the current NBA season by way of a poem on the website The Players’ Tribune (link below).  Bryant is 37 years old and in his 20th NBA season.  Kobe Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has issued the following statement on the news:

With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game.  Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.

I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.


Negotiators grab head start on monumental climate challenge

PARIS (Reuters) – Senior negotiators from almost 200 nations on Sunday began thrashing out a new global deal to curb climate change as the president of China, the world’s biggest polluter, landed in Paris.

The United Nations conference begins at summit level on Monday, when more than 150 heads of state and government – including U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping – will attend talks at a sprawling complex north of the French capital. Xi arrived on Sunday.

To signal determination to resolve the most intractable issues, expert negotiators sat down on Sunday rather than after Monday’s high-level speeches, as originally planned.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the aim was to give the world the means to cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times or even 1.5 degrees.

That would avoid the most devastating consequences of global warming, such as rising sea-levels and desertification.

Referring to previous U.N. conferences that have dragged on days beyond the official close, Fabius said relying on “a last-night miracle” could risk failure. Progress must be made every day.

“The process cannot be chaotic. We owe it to ourselves and to the world to conclude the process in an orderly and respectful manner,” he said.

France, as well as hosting the Paris talks, formally takes on leadership of the U.N. process for a year from Monday.

Governments hope the Paris summit will end on Dec. 11 in a deal that will herald a shift from rising dependence on fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution to cleaner energies such as wind or solar power.

Hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday joined rallies across the globe, telling leaders gathering for the summit there is “No Planet B” in the fight against global warming.

There is a tough task ahead. Weeks of preparatory talks this year have struggled to whittle down a negotiating text, which is still more than 50 pages long.

The most difficult issues include working out how to share the burden of taking action between rich and poor nations, how to finance the cost of adapting to global warming and the legal format of any final text, as U.S. politicians are likely to block a legally binding treaty.

“Some countries have concerns about all of the targets being binding,” Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters. “The idea is to have a binding agreement. There may be elements that are not binding.”

Canada, home to reserves of oil sands, one of the most polluting forms of fossil fuel, withdrew from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which any new Paris deal will replace.

It is re-engaging with U.N. talks following the election of a Liberal government in October.

While big carbon burner China has been reluctant to submit to any outside oversight of its carbon pledges made at a climate summit in Copenhagen six years ago, it has promised to steer its coal-powered economy to a greener path.

The Paris summit is being held in tight security after attacks in Paris by Islamic State two weeks ago that killed 130 people.

(Additional reporting by Geert de Clercq and Emmanuel Jarry, Editing by Ros Russell)


Europe, Turkey agree migration deal, leaders say

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Leaders of the European Union aim to sign an agreement with Turkey in Brussels on Sunday that offers Ankara cash and closer ties with the EU in return for Turkish help in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe.

Here are some of the comments of the leaders:

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

“We need a comprehensive solution to the migrant crisis in Europe and obviously that involves Turkey. Britain will continue to play our role, which is about supporting Syrian refugees in the refugee camps and in Turkey.

“In terms of the discussions this afternoon, a lot of it will be about the Schengen no borders zone that we’re not a member of. Britain in the European Union will keep our border controls.”

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI

“All modalities linked to the budget are to be discussed. There is a commitment from the EU institutions, the European Commission… The proposal is to consider these resources out of the Stability Pact, but it’s quite premature (to say that it will be agreed that way).”

FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE

“There has to be an agreement that allows us to implement an action plan between the European Union and Turkey so that refugees can be received in Turkey, nearer their countries of origin, so that Europe can help Turkey, so that Turkey can live up to its commitments and borders can be controlled.

“This is in everyone’s interest.”

TURKISH PRIME MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOGLU

“Today is a historic day in our accession process to the EU. Twenty nine heads of states and governments will be meeting and having a Turkish-EU summit.”

“It’s a very historic day to re-energize our accession process as well as discuss tensions, the latest developments in Europe and around Europe.”

“I am thankful to all European leaders for this new beginning.”

IRISH PRIME MINISTER ENDA KENNY

“My understanding is that a deal can and will be reached … The feeling … is that this can be concluded this evening.”

On Turkey-Russia tensions over Syria: “It’s an issue of enormous concern.”

EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF FEDERICA MOGHERINI

“Turkey comes out of a long electoral transition. Now we have a government that is there to stay for some years and it is important for us to have a full-fledged dialogue with them on all the relevant issues.

“Migration and the refugee crisis is one but also others, including the revitalization of the accession talks… this comes together with new investments from the Turkish side in basic fundamentals like human rights, media freedom and, I would like to stress it in particular, the need to restart the peace process with the Kurdish.

“It is important to revitalize it and the European Union will give all the support to restart the peace process with the Kurds.

“From today onwards, we will also, I will personally, work on a high-level dialogue with Turkey comprising all the different and sometimes difficult issues we have on the table with them — all of them, none exclusions.”

On Russia-Turkey tensions over Syria: “…to make sure that this doesn’t affect the political perspectives we have finally found (on Syria)… It would be a terrible mistake if out of the tensions on the ground, that can be very high and very difficult to manage, we cancel or we downgrade the level of diplomatic and political engagement.”

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT DONALD TUSK

“Approximately 1.5 million people have illegally entered the EU in 2015. Most have come through Turkey. Some seek shelter from war and persecution, others seek a better life and the few think to destroy our values.”

“We expect to see an immediate and substantial reduction of irregular migrants arriving to Europe.”

“We have reached an agreement which I hope will be accepted.

“This summit is about wider dimensions, namely re-energizing our relations with Turkey including the accession process.

“Let us not us not be naive though. Turkey is not the only key to resolving the migration crisis. The important one is our responsibility and duty to protect our external border. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country.

“Without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history.”

“Recent developments have underlined that the issue of taking coordinated actions in Syria remains a priority.”

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

“We will agree on the EU Turkey action plan today.

“This plan will make clear that we have to work together more closely with Turkey for a number of reasons – just think of the civil war in Syria, the fight against Islamic State or the illegal migration.

“One main part of this EU-Turkey action plan will be how we can replace illegal migration by legal migration, how we can improve the situation of refugees within Turkey.

“The summit is about negotiating a broader agenda with Turkey and obviously about questions of the EU accession process, the opening of new chapters. It is an open accession process, we don’t speak about the result, but open new chapters.

“We plan to have regular meetings to talk about progress in the implementation of this agenda.”

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

“I expect that we will find an agreement today on stemming the refugee influx from Turkey via Greece to Europe. We need Turkey for this.”

BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER CHARLES MICHEL

“I will not write a blank cheque for Turkey.”

GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS

“I am confident that we will be able to make important steps regarding Turkey’s accession process but, at the same time, we should be certain that Turkey and Turkish authorities will do whatever is necessary to reduce the migrant and refugee flows.”

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Robin Emmott, Gabriela Baczynska, Sabine Siebold)


Authorities search for 2 Australians missing in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Friends of two Australian tourists missing for more than a week in Mexico are looking to work with authorities in determining what happened to the men following a report that their burned van may have been found with two bodies inside in the drug gang-plagued state of Sinaloa, one of the friends said Sunday.

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman were traveling from Edmonton, Alberta, to Mexico and had been scheduled to arrive on Nov. 21 in the city of Guadalajara but failed to appear, Coleman’s girlfriend, Andrea Gomez, told The Associated Press from Guadalajara.

The families of the two men issued a statement through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade saying they were aware of reports that the men had gone missing during a surfing trip to Mexico.

The families added that they were aware Mexican officials had located the van the men were using. The statement said “a tragic event has occurred” and the families feared for their sons, but stressed that they were waiting for details to be confirmed.

Officials in Sinaloa declined to comment about the matter.

Gomez initially said that she and Lucas’ partner, Josie Cox, would go to the Sinaloa capital of Culiacan on Monday with items that could provide DNA for testing to see if the two bodies reportedly found inside the burned van were the Australians. Gomez said that Cox arrived in Mexico on Sunday with Lucas’ dental records and that Gomez had “pieces of dreadlocks” given to her by Coleman.

“Everything points to it being them because the van matches; it had a bicycle. But nothing is confirmed yet,” Gomez said.

She later said that she and Cox would go first to Mexico City to contact the Australian Embassy rather than go to Sinaloa.

A statement from the Australian foreign ministry said consular officials were working with Mexican authorities to locate the two men.

The missing Australians who were driving Cox’s van had been scheduled meet Gomez in Guadalajara, she said. She said she and Cox put out an alert on social media after reporting the men missing.

Sinaloa, home of the powerful cartel led by fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, stretches down Mexico’s Pacific coast and would be on the route of most road trips to Guadalajara from western Canada.

“They were hurrying to get here; that’s why they were traveling at night,” she said.


Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency To Hold Conference In The Bahamas

Source: Tribune 242

By Rashad Rolle | Tribune Staff Reporter | rrolle@tribunemedia.net

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will hold its ninth annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management in New Providence on Monday.

The event, which will be held at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, will focus on Hurricane Joaquin under the theme: “The Road to Resilience: Checkpoint 2015.”

Among the speakers will be Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); Anthony Robert, a member of the delegation of the European Union to the Eastern Caribbean Countries; Adriel Brathwaite, QC, and Chairman of the CDEMA Council; Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA; and Arnold Forbes, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Urban Development.

In addition, Island Administrator from Long Island, Terece Bootle Bethel, will also be a panellist, bringing her perspective from one of the islands hardest hit by the hurricane.

Representatives of airline companies who flew hundreds of flights into the impacted region to deliver goods and provide key services – including Paul Aranha, of Trans-Island Airways – will also contribute on air support and private sector views.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works and Urban Development Philip “Brave” Davis will chair a high level session.

The panellists there will examine lessons in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) investment emerging from hazard impacts/experiences.

An Awards and Gala Dinner will also be held on Thursday evening.

In a statement, NEMA Capt Russell said: “The Bahamas, through NEMA, is pleased to host the high level conference as participating states, Dominica and The Bahamas, continue to rebuild livelihoods following the destructive Tropical Storm Erika and the category four Hurricane Joaquin, respectively.”


Tintori rechaza la protección ofrecida por el Gobierno venezolano

CARACAS (EFE) – La venezolana Lilian Tintori, esposa del encarcelado líder opositor Leopoldo López, rechazó la protección que le ofreció el Gobierno tras advertirle de que “es objetivo” de mercenarios que cobran desde 30.000 dólares “por crimen político”.

Tintori explicó en Twitter que fue citada a una reunión con expertos del Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia (Sebin) para coordinar la forma de protección policial, pero se negó a acudir.

“Decidí no asistir porque quien me acosa, me persigue y me intimida es el Sebin, la Policía del Estado”, escribió en Twitter, donde recordó que su esposo se entregó en febrero del año pasado después de que el Gobierno denunciara, asimismo, que había evidencias de planes para matarlo.

“Ahora el régimen dice que me quieren matar, así como querían matar a Leopoldo. Ya nadie les cree”, expresó.

Leopoldo López está condenado a casi 14 años de prisión tras considerarle responsable de unos hechos de violencia ocurridos el año pasado durante protestas opositoras, tras lo cual su esposa ha mantenido una activa presencia política, que ha intensificado de cara a los comicios parlamentarios del próximo domingo.

El rechazo a la protección por parte de Tintori se produjo un día después de que el vicepresidente venezolano, Jorge Arreaza, advirtiera de que “ella pudiera ser objetivo de esos mercenarios de la derecha, de la ultraderecha”, según “información certera” recabada por el Sebin.

“Ella y otros opositores aparecen en informaciones de inteligencia como objetivos, blancos. ¿Para qué? Para generar confusión y decir que fue el Gobierno” el autor de atentados, añadió Arreaza en una reunión con embajadores acreditados el sábado en Caracas.

“La vida es el primer derecho fundamental y es obligación del Estado garantizarlo a Todos. No es un favor”, respondió Tintori, quien insistió en que “el terror es política de Estado” en su país y que si algo le sucede “el directo responsable es Nicolás Maduro“.

En una manifestación dominical en Caracas, en una de las escasas actividades de calle registradas en la campaña electoral, dado que opositores y oficialistas han privilegiado otro tipo de promociones, Tintori relató que al visitar el sábado a su esposo encarcelado este le pidió no arriesgarse, pero que confiara en la gente.

“Nada nos va a pasar porque nos protege la gente, la solidaridad y el amor de la gente”, pero “esto fue un aviso”, relató Tintori que le dijo Leopoldo López.

Tintori hizo repetir a algunos candidatos opositores que le acompañaron en el escenario que el compromiso es “con justicia, la democracia y la paz”.

“Saldremos a votar el 6 de diciembre y defenderemos nuestro voto con coraje, organización, pero en paz” y los candidatos que se conviertan en diputados promulgarán una ley de amnistía “para liberar a todos los presos políticos”, remarcó.

“Nos quieren intimidar, nos quieren meter terror porque estamos bajo un régimen de terrorismo de Estado, pero ya la gente decidió cambiar el odio por el amor, la injusticia por la justicia, la persecución por el perdón, la violencia por la paz”, insistió.


Obama en París, optimista acerca de un acuerdo mundial

(AFP) – El presidente estadounidense, Barack Obama, llegó la noche del domingo a París y se mostró optimista sobre las posibilidades de alcanzar un gran acuerdo mundial sobre el cambio climático.

El avión presidencial Air Force One aterrizó poco antes de medianoche (23H00 GMT) en el aeropuerto internacional de Orly, al sur de la capital francesa

Poco después, Obama se acercó al Bataclan, la sala de espectáculos parisina donde 90 personas fueron asesinadas por yihadistas el pasado 13 de noviembre. Allí le esperaban el presidente francésFrançois Hollande, y la alcaldesa de París, Anne Hidalgo.

Tras depositar flores delante del local y observar juntos un momento de recogimiento, Hollande acompañó a Obama hasta su coche.

La visita de Obama y Hollande al Bataclan, con medidas de alta seguridad, fue anunciada en el último momento y tuvo lugar después de que por la tarde militantes antiCOP21 provocaran incidentes en la céntrica plaza de República de París, lugar simbólico convertido en monumento en memoria de las víctimas del 13 de noviembre

Obama participará este lunes, con unos 150 jefes de Estado y de Gobierno, en la inauguración de la COP21 cuyo objetivo es alcanzar un acuerdo para limitar el calentamiento climático global.

“Soy optimista en cuanto a que lo podemos lograr”, lanzó en un texto en la red social Facebook en el momento de partir de Washington.

“Lo que vamos a intentar hacer en París es definir un marco sobre el largo plazo para las reducciones de emisiones (de gases de efecto invernadero) con unos objetivos fijados por cada país suficientemente transparentes para poder ser verificados por los otros”, subrayó.

Obama, que ha definido el clima como una de sus prioridades desde su llegada al poder en 2009, se expresará este lunes a media jornada desde la tribuna de la conferencia de la ONU en Le Bourget, cerca de París.

A un año de dejar la Casa Blanca, el presidente estadounidense, que ha vivido la inmensa decepción de la cumbre de Copenhague hace seis años, espera llegar esta vez a un acuerdo ambicioso que figure en buen lugar en su balance.

Al día siguiente de los atentados del 13 de noviembre que enlutaron París, cuando ciertos responsables políticos cuestionaban el mantenimiento de la COP21, Obama fue el primero en confirmar su participación.

Obama arrancará su agenda del lunes con un encuentro bilateral con su homólogo chino, Xi Jinping.

China y Estados Unidos son los dos principales emisores planetarios de gases de efecto invernadero.


Movilización mundial e incidentes en París en la víspera de la COP21

(AFP) – Movilizaciones en los cinco continentes reclamaban el domingo un acuerdo contra el cambio climático la víspera de la cumbre de París, donde manifestantes pacíficos y grupos violentos desafiaron el estado de emergencia decretado tras los atentados yihadistas del 13 de noviembre.

Los negociadores de 195 países iniciaron las discusiones de la conferencia del clima (COP21) observando un minuto de silencio por las 130 víctimas de esos ataques.

El cónclave que busca un acuerdo para reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero durará hasta el 11 de diciembre.

“Está en sus manos tener éxito y estoy seguro de que lo lograrán”, dijo el ministro peruano de Ambiente, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, presidente de la conferencia climática anterior, al iniciarse la sesión.

Veinte países, incluyendo Estados Unidos y Francia, se comprometerán este mismo lunes a duplicar sus inversiones en energías “limpias”, anunciaron la Casa Blanca y el Elíseo.

Para subrayar la importancia de lo que está en juego, unos 150 mandatarios ?entre ellos los de Estados Unidos, China, Rusia,Brasil, México e India? participarán el lunes en su lanzamiento oficial.

– Francia –

Veinte países, incluyendo Estados Unidos y Francia, se comprometerán este mismo lunes a duplicar sus inversiones en energías “limpias”, anunciaron la Casa Blanca y el Elíseo.

La cita puede servir también para otros encuentros bilaterales en un mundo con conflictos abiertos, empezando por la amenaza yihadista en Siria e Irak, que provocó esta semana un serio incidente entre dos teóricos aliados, Moscú y Ankara.

– Cadena humana e incidentes en París –

Las agendas climática y de seguridad también confluyen en las calles de París. Al grito de “Estado de emergencia, Estado policial”, varios centenares de manifestantes, muchos de ellos encapuchados, lanzaron proyectiles contra la policía, que replicó con granadas de gases lacrimógenos.

Casi 290 personas fueron detenidas en esos incidentes y el presidente François Hollande fustigó la acción “escandalosa” de “elementos perturbadores que nada tienen que ver con los defensores del medio ambiente”.

En la cadena humana, miles de personas se dieron la mano a lo largo del bulevar Voltaire, en el este de París, y rompieron filas delante de la sala de conciertos Bataclan, donde se produjo el más letal de los atentados del 13 de noviembre (90 muertos).

En esa protesta, las consignas ambientalistas se mezclaban con el desafío a quienes sembraron la muerte en la ciudad.

“No les tememos a los terroristas ni a las multinacionales”, proclamaba una pancarta colgada del cuello de una mujer, en referencia a los grandes grupos industriales acusados de acelerar el cambio climático. “¡Por un clima de paz!”, rezaban otros carteles cerca del Bataclan.

Recién llegado a París, el presidente estadounidense Barack Obamase acercó la noche del domingo al Bataclán, donde lo esperaban Hollande y la alcaldesa de París. Por la tarde habían estado allí la presidenta chilena Michelle Bachelet y el primer ministro canadiense, Justin Trudeau.

– Movilización mundial –

Las movilizaciones por el clima abarcaron desde Australia, donde decenas de miles de personas salieron a las calles, hasta México, pasando por Asia, Europa y África.

El objetivo: exigir medidas que impidan transformaciones irreversibles como grandes sequías o la elevación del nivel de los océanos, que según los estudios de referencia ocurrirán inevitablemente a lo largo de este siglo si las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero continúan a su nivel actual.

En Madrid, unas 20.000 personas participaron en la marcha, según la ONG Greenpeace, que arrancó en el ayuntamiento de Madrid, en la plaza Cibeles, y llegó hasta la Puerta del Sol. Entre los mensajes se podía leer “La Tierra es tu hogar” y “Ayúdame, Ayúdate”.

En Londres, miles de personas y numerosos artistas exigieron que esta conferencia no se salde con un fracaso, como ocurrió con la de Copenhague en 2009.

“Este clamor popular tiene que ser oído. Esta cumbre histórica tiene una importancia vital”, declaró a la AFP la actriz Emma Thomson.

Un total de 183 países han presentado ya compromisos de reducción de gases con efecto invernadero, algo sin precedentes, destacó el canciller francés Laurent Fabius, aunque faltan grandes productores de petróleo.

– Acuerdo entraría en vigor en 2020 –

Los científicos advierten de que si el planeta sufre un aumento de su temperatura media de más de 2 ºC respecto a los niveles de la era preindustrial, los efectos serán irreversibles.

Para no sobrepasar ese límite, para fijarse compromisos de reducción de emisiones de dióxido de carbono (CO2), para acabar con la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles y para fijarse controles y ayudas mutuas, los miembros de la COP (conferencia de las partes, en inglés) decidieron en 2011 que debían cerrar un acuerdo en 2015.

El acuerdo de París, de alcanzarse, entraría en vigor en 2020.

Entre los puntos más litigiosos de la negociación figuran su carácter vinculante y las ayudas a los países en desarrollo para enfrentar el cambio climático.

“La idea es alcanzar un acuerdo vinculante, aunque haya elementos que quizá no lo sean”, dijo la ministra canadiense de Medio Ambiente, Catherine McKenna.

“Las condiciones para que [la COP21] sea un éxito están reunidas, pero no está ganado de antemano”, advirtió Fabius, que dijo tener un “optimismo cauto y activo”.