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Climate disruption/Climate Conference

Published on December 16, 2014
Speech by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at the closing plenary session of the COP20
Lima, December 14, 2014

Mr President, cher Manuel,

First of all I’d like to congratulate you on this great success. I think it’s clearly due to all those who are here, but you’ve shown what an effective president can do and you’ve set the bar very high. I’ll attempt, very modestly, to get close to it.

I wanted to speak for a few moments – first of all to day quite simply that we’re going to prepare things to welcome you all in the best possible way [to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference].

I noted in all the speeches that the delegates emphasized that they wanted great success in Paris. I’m going to let you into a secret: so do I! If we hadn’t reached the decision we’ve taken this evening, things would have been much more difficult. But as we all know, there’s already a lot of work to do between now and December next year to resolve the issues that are still outstanding.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal has shown us the path to a good presidency, which requires ambition, a listening ear and a spirit of compromise. Those are the three watchwords France will follow.

It’s a considerable responsibility and honour to host a COP, especially when people repeat that the main decisions that are going to have an impact on the future will have to be taken in Paris. We’re aware of this responsibility and this honour, and we’re going to try and live up to them.

I’d like to add one point that strikes me: when the work we’re doing here is talked about, you hear things outside that are sometimes unfair, as if we’re taking pleasure in proliferating complicated discussions that go on forever. But all the people here have devoted part of their lives, and even their whole lives, to the climate issue, to ensure millions of people worldwide can live better. I think this message, which is the real meaning of the work we’re doing here, must get through outside.

One final word. We’re all mindful of what happened in Copenhagen. I think that, thanks to the work of you all and the decision taken this evening, the spectre of Copenhagen is fading and the hope of success in Paris is growing closer. We owe this to all of you, and France will do everything possible to welcome you in the proper way. Thank you./.

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