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G20/climate disruption/China/India/Saudi Arabia/Senegal

Published on November 20, 2014
Introductory remarks made by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, during his press conference
Brisbane, November 16, 2014

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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.

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FRANCE/DISCUSSIONS WITH INDIA/SOUTH AFRICA/SAUDI ARABIA/INDONESIA/SENEGAL/NEW ZEALAND

During this G20, aside from the discussions I participated in as part of the planned forums, I had a number of meetings with heads of state and government.

With India, because I’d like to invite the Indian Prime Minister to Paris, because it’s a great country, a great friend and because we’ve also got to give it assurances about the climate conference. We also have a high level of political cooperation. With South Africa, which I visited a few months ago; with Saudi Arabia – we went back over the situation in the region, particularly in Iraq, and I reiterated how very important and very significant our agreement with Saudi Arabia and Lebanon for the delivery of equipment to that friendly country, is, in terms of what we can do.

With Indonesia, which has given itself a new president; with Senegal, where I’ll be going for the OIF [international Francophone organization] summit and which is an absolutely invaluable partner in terms of combating Ebola and generally speaking of supporting the West African countries’ economies – moreover this was the thrust of its speech. With New Zealand and, finally, China. I’ve just come out of a meeting with President Xi Jinping.

FRANCE/CHINA/PM VISITS

I spoke to China about the exceptional relationship we have between our two countries, our political cooperation, my state visit and the one the President paid to France. There will be an exchange of prime ministers, if I can put it like that: Manuel Valls will go to China in January and his Chinese counterpart will be in Paris in March. President Xi Jinping is very committed to the climate conference and has hinted at the possibility of being present himself at the conference. I’ll be in China during the course of 2015 precisely to talk about this climate conference, because China is an essential partner. (…)./.

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