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Worldwide Protests Ahead Of Paris Climate Summit

More than 2,000 demonstrations were held around the globe this weekend, according to activists. Although police and rioters clashed in Paris, most protests were peaceful.

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World leaders have begun arriving in Paris for Monday's U.N. summit on climate change.

Yoan Valat / AP

China's President Xi Jinping, left, and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arriving in Paris on Sunday.

About 150 heads of state are gathering in the French capital for talks that climate activists hope will result in a binding international deal on limiting carbon emissions.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Barack Obama boards Air Force One in Maryland Sunday for his trip to Paris.

With France still under a state of emergency following the Paris terror attacks earlier this month, the planned climate march in the host city was canceled. Activists instead left pairs of shoes at the Place de le République as a symbolic gesture.

Eric Gaillard / Reuters

Banners reading "Paris marches for climate change" in Paris on Sunday.


Elsewhere in Europe, demonstrators poured onto the streets of the major capitals to make their voices heard. In Berlin, the iconic Brandenburg Gate was a focal point for German protesters.


Protests weren't limited to Europe, though. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, people also turned out with banners and signs calling for a limit in the rise of global temperatures.

One man at Ipanema Beach held a jug of water with a sign reading "Water: 100 Reals" ($26) to signal the devastating effects of drought that come with climate change.

Roughly 700 people also marched in Johannesburg, South Africa, with demonstrators calling for the city to stop relying on fossil fuels as the primary source of electricity.


U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Associated Press he's optimistic about the talks: "It seems to me that all the stars are aligning. I'm pretty optimistic that we will be able to have a very robust universal climate change agreement."

Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images

People play with a giant balloon representing Earth at Piazza Venezia in Rome on Sunday.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at

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