BERLIN (AFP): France’s foreign minister warned Monday that the international community had no option but to combat climate change as there is “no alternative planet”. “We don’t have the right to fail,” Laurent Fabius told the opening of a two-day gathering in Berlin of representatives from 35 countries to pave the way for a global push to cut emissions. “We must commit ourselves very resolutely because there isn’t an alternative solution, for the simple reason that there isn’t an alternative planet,” he added.

The informal talks are taking place under the “Petersberg Climate Dialogue” initiative, launched by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010, to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. French President Francois Hollande has set out an ambitious goal for the Paris meeting - an agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures linked to greenhouse gas emissions to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from the pre-industrial age. Hollande and Merkel are due to attend the Berlin talks on Tuesday.