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Hollande, Activists Gear Up For ‘Critical’ Climate Talks

PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande was meeting with environmental groups Saturday, pushing for an ambitious global deal to reduce man-made emissions blamed for global warming.

The talks in the Elysee Palace come as President Barack Obama, the leaders of China, Russia and more than 140 other countries prepare to converge on Paris to launch two weeks of high-stakes talks.

Leaders and climate negotiators from 196 countries meeting at the U.N. talks Nov. 30-Dec. 11 will try to hash out the broadest, most lasting deal to date to slow global warming.

Saturday’s meeting and the talks are taking place under extra-high security after Islamic extremists killed 130 people Nov. 13 in the deadliest attacks in France in decades.

Later Saturday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is scheduled to symbolically hand over the “keys” to the climate conference to the U.N. climate change agency, which will oversee the two-week talks. Fabius and Hollande have traveled the world this year and used France’s diplomatic weight to try to rally international support for a tough and binding deal.

The last global climate treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, required only rich countries to reduce emissions and the U.S., the world’s biggest emitter, didn’t take part.

The talks are happening with France in a state of emergency and thousands of troops and police fanned out to ensure security after the Paris attacks.

A big march by environmental activists was canceled because of the security measures. Activists are still planning other small actions around France and other countries.

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