Obama, Xi to meet on sidelines of Paris climate conference 
U.S. President Barack Obama walks to Marine One as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House - REUTERS

PARIS: It’s a meeting of the world’s top two carbon polluters as President Barack Obama and China’s leader pull up chairs at the Paris climate conference to discuss efforts to fight global warming.

Both nations already have announced ambitious plans to cap or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in future years.

Now Obama and China’s Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) are meeting at the opening of the two-week Paris conference to underscore the need for all nations to come together on a strong agreement to combat climate change.

Obama arrived at the summit site in the Paris suburbs on Monday morning and shook hands warmly with French President Francois Hollande and other officials before beginning his meeting with Xi. China emits about 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases and the U.S. about 16 percent.

As the conference kicked off, the U.S. State Department announced early Monday that the U.S. was pledging $51 million to a global fund to help poorer countries adapt to climate change. The U.S. contribution joins pledges from Germany, Canada, Italy and others to total $248 million. The Obama administration didn’t specify where the U.S. dollars would come from.

While in Paris, Obama also is trying to drown out his critics at home who say his energy plan is unattainable and could be wiped away by his successor.

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