Obama: Climate summit a 'powerful rebuke' to terrorists

President Obama declared Tuesday that next week’s climate change summit in Paris would be a “powerful rebuke” to terrorists, speaking alongside French President François Hollande at a joint news conference.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference,” Obama said during his prepared remarks, which focused mostly on the efforts to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“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,” he added.

The two leaders met in Washington a week and a half after ISIS carried out multiple terrorist attacks in Paris, killing 130, and less than a week before Obama goes to the French capital to work with world leaders on an international pact to fight climate change.

Obama struck a similar tone Sunday at a news conference in Malaysia.

“I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader, to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business, and that Paris ... is not going to be cowered by the violent, demented actions of a few,” Obama said about the upcoming climate conference.

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 is scheduled to host Obama for dinner Monday night.

Hollande also said that holding the conference is a good sign in the fight against the Islamic State.

“I think there cannot be any better symbol or response but to hold the conference in Paris ... with some 150 heads of state and government,” Hollande said at the news conference.

France’s government has ramped up security for the conference in the wake of the attacks, including a ban on most activities related to the event, such as rallies and concerts.

Updated at 12:53 p.m.