Ministers welcome IPCC report’s findings on mitigating climate change

Climate disruption – Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Mme Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

Paris, 14 April 2014

Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, welcome the adoption in Berlin on 12 April of the third volume of the IPCC assessment report devoted to policies to reduce climate change.

Given the acceleration in greenhouse gas emissions, the report confirms the need to act without delay and go further than the policies already under way, as France will do with the future estimates act on the energy transition. It describes the various options for enabling global warming to be limited to a maximum of 2ºC in order to contain the effects of climate disruption.

Combating climate change is an opportunity: with due regard for each country’s own choices, the report highlights the possible benefits to our economies of low-carbon policies, for example regarding transport, town planning and buildings’ energy efficiency. It draws attention to the role played by the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity and sustainable forest management in the fight against climate change.

The work of the IPCC and its members’ appeal for international cooperation mark essential progress on preparing the climate agreement which the international community is due to adopt in Paris in December 2015. France is totally mobilized for an ambitious agreement to be concluded on that occasion. It is also determined to contribute to the adoption by the European Union of a set of robust energy-climate standards by 2030, with a 40% reduction in our emissions compared to 1990 [levels].

Energy policy – Reply by Mme Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 9 April 2014

Ladies and gentlemen deputies, the fight against global warming – and therefore the energy transition – is a burning obligation in order not only to curb the accumulation of greenhouse gases and global warming but also to limit the depletion of our natural resources; it is above all a tremendous opportunity, a tremendous challenge which can provide our country not only with considerable potential to create economic activity and jobs but also with wellbeing linked to health issues and to increased spending power, for example through energy saving.

The road map you’re asking me about is clear; it was set by the President at the two environmental conferences and by the Prime Minister in his general policy statement; it’s one of our priorities. It consists in stepping up the pace, in getting the ball rolling in the regions where you’re elected, and above all in preparing the bill on the energy transition, which you’ll have to debate.

Four major projects lie ahead of us.

The first concerns speeding up thermal renovation of buildings, because we must renovate 500,000 buildings before 2017: that’s a tremendous opportunity for the building industry and we’re going to speed up this project. The second concerns renewable energy and energy saving: there too, our major industrial groups and our SMEs are in an especially good position; we can thus increase renewable energy’s share of our energy production. The third project concerns clean mobility, with the rolling-out of electric terminals; finally, the fourth concerns the circular economy, where waste is regarded as a raw material bringing added value, which will enable us to make France one of Europe’s leading environmental powers.

Communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting (excerpts)

Paris, 9 April 2014

Ratification of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol of 11 December 1997

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development presented a bill authorizing the ratification of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol of 11 December 1997.

The Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in 1997 and came into force in 2005, is the only legally binding instrument to date whose aim is to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries as well as economies in transition. The protocol’s first commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, was extended for the years 2013 to 2020 by means of an amendment adopted in Doha on 8 December 2012.

In 2008, the European Union created a legal framework for the period until 2020 which will enable it to adhere to the target it set itself for the new period. The climate and energy package in fact envisages a 20% reduction from 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

While the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol cannot alone halt climate disruption because it covers only 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions – only certain developed states having again committed themselves to this framework –, the new period it opens is essential because it enables the transition to be ensured until an agreement on the climate is adopted in Paris in December 2015, to come into force in 2020.

In view of the urgent need to act to limit the average global temperature rise to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, the 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are already working to draw up this future agreement, which will have to be ambitious and universal. (…).

Published on 10/09/2014

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