France welcomes G20 decision to call for contributions to Green Climate Fund

G20/climate disruption/China/India/Saudi Arabia/Senegal – Introductory remarks made by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, during his press conference

Brisbane, 16 November 2014

(…)

Paris climate conference (COP21)/Green Climate Fund

The fourth goal France set itself – and it wasn’t the simplest to achieve even though France was particularly involved – is the fight against global warming. France is particularly involved because it is going to organize the climate conference in December 2015.

It wasn’t a given to think that the G20 would accept this goal, firstly because here in Australia, the debate has begun and above all because, as we know, countries are extremely reluctant to make commitments today, even though they know that there’s this meeting in Paris in December 2015.

There was a consensus on highlighting firstly that Paris would be the big meeting for the planet as regards seeking a differentiated but binding global climate agreement, and on it now being possible to announce contributions to the so-called Green Climate Fund – i.e. the fund which is going to allow countries which don’t necessarily have the requisite resources to make this energy transition, because they aren’t sufficiently developed or because they’re still an emerging state, to support investment. You’ve no doubt noticed that after France announced – during the United Nations General Assembly in September – a $1 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund, Germany made the same choice. The United States, Japan and other countries also declared their readiness – they’ve provided figures – to make a contribution to the Green Climate Fund, which is going to have a knock-on effect.

The G20’s decision to call for the Green Fund to be provided with a high level of funding (…) has allowed that stage to be passed prior to us all meeting in Paris to sign the global agreement which will prevent the planet from potentially warming by up to 3 or 4ºC according to the IPCC experts, which would cause disasters, not to mention wars.

A way of preventing conflicts and preventing disasters is to take decisions. The G20, which hadn’t included this goal [on its agenda] at the start, agreed to do so in view of the importance of the issue, the fact that the conference is near and also the fact that a number of countries, including France, mobilized to get a result as swiftly as possible.

France received a great deal of help not only from the United States and China, which signed an agreement a few days ago on commitments in terms of fighting global warming, but from all the international organizations. I also want to thank the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the World Bank and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. In short, all the international organizations are behind France to ensure that this climate conference is a success, and the G20 is a major asset, a very important asset for the success of that conference.

(…)

Climate disruption/Green Fund – Joint statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peruvian Minister of State for Environment and President of the COP20

Paris, 14 November 2014

The provision of new financing will be a cornerstone of the future international climate agreement that must be adopted at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Paris in late 2015. This agreement must make it possible to keep temperature increases below 2°C. A vital step in the preparation of this agreement will be the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties in Lima this coming December.

That is why the international community sought to establish the Green Climate Fund. The aim is to combat climate disruption and to create real leverage for changing the scale of our collective effort.

In order to mobilize the necessary resources, the Green Climate Fund High-Level Pledging Conference in Berlin on 19 and 20 November must be a success. Nearly $3 billion has already been pledged, but that is not enough.

As presidents of the COP20 and COP21, we solemnly call on our partners to announce ambitious pledges on 20 November in Berlin. This is necessary for creating the conditions of trust and success for the crucial negotiations getting under way. Clearly, it is not a superfluous expense, but a capital investment in the future of our planet./.

Climate disruption – Speech by Mme Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, following a meeting with civil society

Isla Margarita, Venezuela, 6 November 2014

Ministers,

Ladies and gentlemen representatives of civil society,

Dear friends,

It’s a pleasure to speak to you this evening, just before our friend Claudia Salerno wraps up the day. Let me begin by thanking the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the warm welcome my delegation has received.

This meeting is a first, and it’s a success. Today’s discussions have been particularly substantive, and I’d like to thank each of you for your contributions, for the discussions you’ve raised and for the proposals you’ve put on the table.

I hope this momentum will continue until Lima, and of course until Paris.

I’d like to say a few words to you here in conclusion, not only on the negotiations and discussions in the run-up to Lima and the 2015 agreement but also on the way the future French presidency intends to involve the whole of civil society in the preparations for and – I hope – the success of Paris.

***

The climate is, above all, a major issue affecting ordinary people. Our discussions throughout the day have recalled this. We’re all affected by challenges of mitigation and adaptation and most frequently both.

Climate disruption is often presented as something that divides people: it’s seen as absolutely necessary for some people ultimately to lose in order for others to gain. My political experience suggests to me that such a scheme won’t garner much success among the planet’s citizens…

While we can’t deny our responsibilities and our differences, the fight against climate disruption must be something that brings us together. This is also the mandate of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference: a universal agreement where everyone acts according to their responsibilities and abilities, but also an agreement that strengthens our solidarity with the most vulnerable.

We’ll have to confront the difficulties – given the scale of the task and of the change ahead of us – if we want to succeed in getting back on a 2ºC trajectory. You know, when you read the IPCC’s conclusions, the slogan you’ve chosen becomes obvious: let’s change the system, not the climate.

It will have to be done without giving up the debate. But I also think that, along the way, we mustn’t lose sight of what brings us together here: the determination to build an agreement in Lima and then Paris which puts us back on the 2ºC trajectory. We won’t agree on everything. But let’s bear in mind that we already share the same realization and the same goal. I think this is the key thing.

So the 2015 Paris Climate Conference must be a time of mobilization for citizens, a time that brings people together and makes everyone want to switch to the post-carbon world.

And also a time of reassurance. Reassurance for our fellow citizens, to say to them: yes, tomorrow’s world will be different, but it won’t be a cut-price world where we set aside our aspirations for prosperity, quality of life and good living.

It will be a world where we’ll be fighting simultaneously against poverty and for the environment. The aim of the discussions under way on the Sustainable Development Goals is also to conceive this new world, with shared objectives but different ways of achieving them.

Paris must also be a time of reassurance for those on the front line of climate disruption, providing them with practical solutions. That’s the first stage of fairness and climate solidarity. That’s why the capitalization of the Green [Climate] Fund – which will devote 50% of its funding to the most vulnerable, and particularly to adaptation – is so important. France, through its tool, the AFD (French Development Agency), already includes resilience in all the infrastructure projects it supports in Africa.

Finally, Paris must send the message that we’re determined to take the appropriate measures, and first of all send the right signals, in order to put the economy back on the right track, because as we know well – and I was able to confirm it in Samoa at the summit of Small Island Developing States – there can be no economic development without a fight against climate disruption.

What’s worrying in terms of jobs, social cohesion, peace and security is the current trend in [global] warming. It’s not that of a world returning to the path of limiting the temperature rise to below 2ºC.

***

To succeed in creating a genuine climate alliance in Paris, we have four pillars in mind.

The first pillar concerns the new legal framework – a universal, binding framework – for international action in response to climate disruption. This is central to our mandate and Lima will be a decisive step along this path, with the first elements of the agreement to be discussed there.

The second pillar concerns the emission reduction figures, which will be contained in the contributions, which states are due to present in the first quarter of 2015. The latest scientific data must encourage us to put ambitious proposals on the table. This is why the European Union has just made a commitment to cut its emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. We hope others will follow very soon.

The third pillar concerns the means of implementation, particularly financing, and technology. This is essential in order for action to be taken. It’s also a mutually supportive response: we could, for example, work at reducing the cost of renewable energies to make them competitive with fossil fuels: everyone will benefit from this, and it should allow us to lift millions of people out of poverty without endangering our future climate.

The fourth pillar concerns the action taken by non-state actors – be it businesses or local and regional authorities. We will have to find a way of capitalizing on the New York announcements and discussions and build on the momentum. This action can help partially narrow the difference between our current trajectory and the 2ºC target and put the world on the path to carbon neutrality. This will be a genuine new development.

So in this climate alliance, we must make room for everyone. Paris must result in an agreement written by and for everyone. An ambitious agreement is also one which strikes a balance between adaptation and mitigation and addresses the challenges encountered by those already facing the impact of climate disruption.

***

I’d now like to say a few words to you about how we intend to continue, but also no doubt to help you increase civil society’s participation between now and the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

The Paris agreement must be written by everyone and for everyone. That also means we’d like to involve the different representations of civil society, in a very broad sense: all the major groups, businesses, local government, women’s representatives, indigenous people and farming organizations must be involved in the success of Paris. France has a long tradition in this area. Moreover, the energy transition bill that we adopted a few days ago was drawn up following a national debate involving all the civil society stakeholders.

Discussions also began more than a year ago with civil society representatives, at the level of our negotiation team, the ministers and even the French President. Among other things, I took part in the Climate March in New York on 23 September. It was a very powerful moment.

We need you to encourage all countries to act, but also to make your own specific commitments in addition to the intergovernmental agreement. You too hold the levers for changing the world. We’d like to strengthen this dialogue. I’ve heard many ideas and proposals which will feed into our discussions and which we’ll be able to talk about in the coming months. (…)

The first priority of our dialogue will probably be the actual content of the Paris agreement. On the key points of the Paris agreement you have ideas, expectations, proposals and areas requiring vigilance. Procedures must be established for discussing these.

The second priority of our discussions is mobilization, because France has a special responsibility in hosting COP21. But 195 states must indeed reach agreement at the Paris conference.

By playing an active role, sparking dialogue and fostering environmental education well ahead of COP21, civil society has a tremendous lever in each of the countries in the [UN Framework] Convention [on Climate Change]. This action is necessary, essential, vital. Paris won’t build in opposition to, or in the absence of, citizens.

The third priority is engagement. I want to talk in particular about businesses, economic stakeholders and local authorities, but also about all those bearing responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. Momentum was created in New York. In Lima, we must expand and broaden it.

On all these points, and no doubt on others too, we’ll be listening to you. You can rely on France – and without doubt on Peru, cher Manuel – to foster and encourage the broadest possible dialogue. But we also want to be able to rely on you, because we have a huge collective responsibility./.

Last modified on 24/11/2014

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