France: time to turn climate pledges into action

France: time to turn climate pledges into action


France is continuing its pressure on the international community to make sure the Paris Accord on climate change agreed at United Nations sponsored talks in December is implemented as fully as possible.

France’s ecology minister Segolene Royal has said the 195 governments that clinched the Paris climate deal must now turn their pledges into concrete action.

Segolene-Royal-France-Minister-ecology-UN-SecGen-Ban-Ki-moonThe French newsagency AFP reports fresh from meetings with United States businesses in California, Ms Royal held talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York to discuss how to move quickly to implement the deal on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Every country will now have to turn their national commitments into concrete action,” Ms Royal said.

A formal signing ceremony will be held at the United Nations on April 22, Earth Day.

Invitations are going out this month for the formal signing ceremony that France and the UN hope will be attended by heads of states or governments to “maintain a high-level commitment” to the agreement.

Paris-Climate-Change-Conference-2015“It is very important that Europe remain at the forefront and be an example for the transition to clean energy,” she said.

AFP reports the historical agreement reached last month will come into effect by 2020, once at least 55 countries responsible for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gases ratify the accord.

Meanwhile the president of UN climate talks and France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, has said finance for green growth and the development of new climate transparency rules are priorities for 2016.

The French foreign minister steered the 195 countries to agreement on a new global pact last December, and will maintain his position at the helm of discussions until November.

UN-Paris-climate-accord-Fabius-thumbs-upDismissing speculation over his future, the veteran politician and diplomat insisted he would remain COP21 president, despite rumours of a government reshuffle later this year.

Speaking to the French daily newsaper Le Monde, Mr Fabius said working out what counts as climate finance and how a “common and transparent system for monitoring commitments” works would be his immediate focus.

“2015 was the year of negotiations and decisions, 2016 must be the year of implementation and action. Our diplomacy will remain highly mobilised,” he told Le Monde.

carbon-emissions-of-the-Third-WorldClimate finance flows are a contentious issue with rich countries promising a package of US$100 billion a year for poorer nations, starting in 2020, but progress on raising funds has been patchy.

An October report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said about US$62 billion a year was flowing to the developing world.

That angered some poorer countries, which accused the Paris-based body of using funding sources in their data that should not be counted, like loans and export credits.

“We must now define the precise rules,” Mr Fabius told Le Monde.