#CSOTA - Climate Summit Of The Americas : Closing Remarks by French Ambassador to Canada [fr]

#CSOTA - Climate Summit Of The Americas

Closing Remarks by Nicolas Chapuis, French Ambassador to Canada:
The Road to Paris

Toronto, 9 July 2015, 4.40pm

Dear Friends,

While the 21th Conference of Parties of the United Nations on Climate Change will meet in Paris in less than 150 days, your session has demonstrated a level of commitment and determination that I am happy to welcome on behalf of the French Presidency.

You have particularly shown in your proceedings that the fight against climate change and for a low-carbon economy takes a decisive role in the action of territories, regardless otherwise national regulations. The success of the World Summit of the Territories in Lyon last week, in which international networks of local elected officials have made concrete proposals on ambitious paths to limit rising temperatures had already highlighted the interest of an approach as close to the citizen to lend credibility to the commitments that the States are invited to subscribe in Paris next December. The Climate Summit of the Americas mark a new step in this direction and helps the dynamics of the action that is at the heart of our approach to achieve an universal and ambitious agreement in December.

There is indeed an urgency to act: 2014 has been the warmest year on record, and the first climate indicators of 2015 are worrying : very hot weather in Europe, severe drought and devastating forest fires in North America. More and more authorities and officials now agree to see that climate change exacerbates the underlying problems of public health, the fight against poverty, food security or just plain security: no region of the world will escape the consequences of our inaction. The economic cost of inaction will be unbearable by the way: to not invest now in renewable or low-carbon energy is contrary to growth and employment policies that we all advocate.

The French Presidency has a clear mind: we know the extreme complexity of the task, we know the work that remains to be done in less than five months, we see the obstacles to overcome: our challenge is to transform the tremendous mobilization, which is emerging everywhere and in Toronto today, into a sound and robust agreement that remains to be achieved.

Governments and States naturally have a central role to play: they are at work, and the French Presidency has made the necessary arrangements for the upstream work of the Paris Conference to be accelerated following the G7 summit which adopted conclusions remarkable by their level of ambition on climate; a first ministerial meeting will be held in Paris on 21 July, we will have before the end of the month a restructured draft text as a basis for negotiations that will resume in late August. In September, in New York, Heads of State and Government participating in the UN General Assembly will take stock of progress and give their representatives in the COP21 appropriate instructions appropriate. Already, we welcome the quality of national contributions submitted to the United Nations: contrary to popular belief, most of these contributions are more ambitious over the period 2020-2030 compared to what had been proposed for the period 2010-2020; This is particularly true of the US and Chinese contributions, which is an extremely positive signal since the two countries are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the mobilization of non-state actors, cities, regions, territories, civil society remains essential, as you do in Toronto. For the French Presidency, this is not a choice, it is an obligation: by your commitments, you have the ability to encourage governments to set more ambitious targets and strengthen our chances of reaching an agreement in December; by your commitments, you drive your fellow citizens to adopt the reflex "zero carbon" in everyday life: green transportation, solar buildings, waste recycling; by your commitments, you take concrete decisions that have an immediate impact while preparing the future, you change the situation, you create a new deal. The United Nations fully measure the value of these initiatives and has set up a digital platform called NAZCA (Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action) whose purpose is to identify those sub-state contributions and disseminating good practices, in order to complement INDCs submitted by the States.

To succeed as you call us to do so, the Paris Conference will proceed on three basic principles:

- Equity in the efforts, that is to say differentiation; we know that our responsibilities, past and present, in the degradation of the climate are not the same, and we know that our capacity to reduce emissions do are also not the same. The agreement must reflect this.

- Financial and technological solidarity: the developed countries have pledged $ 100 billion of public and private finance, and promised to operate the technology transfers needed by the most vulnerable countries. This commitment must be held, a method must be found. The issue of carbon pricing will of course play an important role in this regard.

- Finally, and without waiting for 2020, the ability to deal now with the consequences of climate change, what is called "adaptation": for example, to protect against the rise of the oceans and seas, organize better water management in agricultural areas affected by drought, or generalize early warning systems to climate disasters. The Paris agreement will provide concrete solutions.

To conclude, it is up to the will of each of us to succeed: the Paris agreement is running, the road is well marked, we enjoy a strong momentum, and never since the adoption of the Convention on Climate at the Earth Summit in Rio, there is almost a quarter of a century, the hope of a universal and decisive agreement appeared so near. Paris is not an end, it must be a new beginning.

Thank you for your support and your mobilization.

Last modified on 03/09/2015

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