Minister Royal address during last session of DSDS15

H.E. Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, delivered the keynote address during the last ministerial session of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2015.

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Ministerial session on "Is climate change imperative and urgent?"

New Delhi, 7 February 2015

- To download the copyright free images of the visit, visit Flickr page of the French Embassy.

Mr Chair, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I will not dwell too much on reiterating the reasons for urgent action. As a preliminary remark, I would like to highlight that urgent action in the face of climate change is no longer a theoretical matter, derived from complex scientific models. It is, in fact, well and truly present today and measurable from the number of stakeholders from our society – farmers, insurance companies, to winter sports professionals. Our citizens are becoming aware of this in their daily lives, along with our business communities, and political decision-makers worldwide.

Further, reasons for changing the energy model are not only climate-related. They are manifold and just as urgent: the pressure of urban development (2.5 billion additional people in urban areas by 2050), the energy security of all countries, health problems in dense urban areas or in households using inefficient stoves or kerosene lamps.

To respond to the question, “Is climate change imperative and urgent?” I would like to underscore two aspects.

First, each and every one must be involved to the best of their abilities in this transition.

Everyone must act: all countries, all stakeholders. Of course, we understand the priorities of certain countries or stakeholders, which are struggling for access to resources and energy, which are seeking to alleviate poverty. In this respect, India is particularly concerned by developmental issues: 300 million persons still have no access to energy.

The demands of development, and ecological and climate demands are getting aligned to push for a more sustainable development. And this is due to three pieces of good news:
- first, awareness at a high level: the UNGA summit in New York helped mobilise Heads of State, autonomous bodies and companies;
- next, the fact that we possess all the technologies for a successful transition;
- and lastly, the third good news is that we are realising that this crisis is an opportunity to be seized.
With not only long-term benefits, which we know about since the publication of the Stern report, but also in the short term, because we have started to adopt good approaches, good technologies and good investors who have embarked on these new fields.

The case of renewable energy is exemplary: solar panels and wind turbines are now competitive and are generating jobs. But there are also the real economic gains of energy efficiency, demand management, clean vehicles that directly reduce respiratory disorders in our mega-cities, and the circular economy that transforms old waste into new products.

Let us take the French example. I am currently pushing for Bill on energy transition for green growth in our Parliament. This law sets ambitious goals for France, such as the reduction by 40% of greenhouse gases by 2030, or making the share of renewables 32% of our energy mix. The obligation to act for better protecting our environment should not be seen as a imposition or a burden but as an opportunity, a chance to innovate, to develop new activities and generate employment. Consuming less energy means greater purchasing power to households while cutting our energy imports. It means generating thousands of jobs in renewable energy, new energy technology, in construction, in urban planning and all these industrial sectors of green growth.

I am delighted that we share these viewpoints with the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, who has laid the framework for this positive and global approach in the face of climate change and the need to change the energy model. Prime Minister Modi’s ambition to provide India with 100 GW of solar energy by 2020 shows the magnitude of the energy transformation that is underway.

In a nutshell, this revolution is a chance, a solution to poverty, if developed countries want to help transfer the know-hows acquired by their administrations and companies, and if the Green Climate Fund works. This is also the post-2015 sustainable development strategy that is being currently renegotiated, and for which energy and climate transition is at the core of most goals.

The second aspect that I wish to underscore is that to be able to fight climate change, we must have an agreement that is useful for all. But this must also be a fair agreement.

France will host the COP21. This conference, which will build on the results of the previous ones – here I would like to acknowledge the presence of my Polish colleague on the panel, as well as that of Peru, with whom we have been working hand in hand for several months now – so, this conference will be a historic opportunity for us to fix common goals so as to regain control of our destiny and give ourselves the legal and operational means to do this.

The text of the legal agreement, which is due to be concluded in Paris, will not be the only key for realising the ambition of keeping warming below 2°C. We feel that four constituents are complementary for sending economic and political signals that our development model is on a new trajectory.

The first is the agreement, the legal framework for the post-2020 regime of the Climate Convention. The Lima decisions are a solid foundation for this work.

The second is the intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) of the Parties to the Convention. All these countries are invited to present their contributions well ahead of the COP21, if possible, in the very first quarter.

The third is a set of financing initiatives that provide greater clarity on the mobilisation of public and private financing sources for climate actions. The Green Fund was capitalised at over 10 billion USD. This is a beginning, but this is not enough. The overall financial architecture must help support a low-carbon and resilient development of our economy, as well as respond to the investment needs required for growth and the modernisation of our energy systems.

The fourth and last constituent is a solutions agenda that will accelerate immediate actions for the climate. We need varied initiatives, which go beyond the traditional institutional frameworks, associating both governmental and non-governmental actors in partnerships in all the key areas of climate action. This is the process initiated by the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, and the Lima action plan in Paris launched by France and Peru.

I hope that this panel discussion will help us concretely illustrate the imperative need for action by each and every one, and the way to optimise the use of different international tools and strengthen multilateral cooperation as well as domestic action.

Last modified on 11/02/2015

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