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Official speeches and statements - March 2, 2022

Published on March 2, 2022

1. Environment - Publication of the IPCC’s new report: France reiterates the need to continue reducing carbon emissions and speeding up the adaptation of vulnerable countries - Joint press release by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ms. Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and Ms. Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (Paris - March 1, 2022)

The IPCC’s new report paints a very alarming picture of the consequences of climate change, particularly the increasing number of extreme climate events. France reiterates the need to continue reducing carbon emissions and speeding up countries’ adaptation. It is strongly committed to this, particularly through the Climate and Resilience Act, but also with its European partners in support of the most vulnerable countries.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today published the second part of its Sixth Assessment Report, entitled "Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". The result of international cooperation by 270 scientists from 67 countries, it sets out the current state of knowledge on the perceptible impacts of climate change on humans and ecosystems. The report thus presents the short, medium and long-term risks according to levels of warming, as well as ways of adapting to them.

The IPCC report is worrying: extreme climate events (heatwaves, heavy precipitation, floods, strong tropical cyclones, droughts and fires), man-made effects of climate change, are already having significant impacts on people, ecosystems and infrastructures. The consequences on access to water and food security, health, the functioning of economies, and biodiversity are very serious.

The risks will worsen as global warming increases, in every region of the world. The report emphasizes that, beyond 1.5°C of warming, climate change will have irreversible impacts, particularly on biodiversity. For the IPCC, adaptation solutions exist, but they require a systemic transformation. These solutions include the creation of early warning systems and nature-based solutions, which have co-benefits for biodiversity, climate and people. Delaying these actions and the policies needed to implement them compromises their effectiveness, reduces their potential and increases their cost.

The IPCC also sets out the notion of "climate-resilient development". This is sustainable development requiring the implementation, in an integrated manner, of climate change adaptation policies, policies to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, and policies to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The report strengthens France’s determination to continue its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular through the Climate and Resilience Act, but also to prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change, through the second National Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

It also reinforces the leading role of France and the European Union in achieving climate targets through the Fit for 55 package, while helping the most vulnerable countries face up to the effects of climate change. The French President has pledged to increase France’s climate finance for developing countries to €6 billion a year from 2021 to 2025, one-third of it for adaptation.

"This IPCC report confirms, for every country in the world, the urgency of taking action to implement the Paris Agreement targets, both in terms of adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. As such, France calls on countries that have not yet done so to raise their climate ambitions before COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. As this report also confirms that the climate and biodiversity crises are intrinsically linked, French diplomacy is mobilized to adopt an ambitious new global strategic framework for protecting biodiversity at COP15 in Kunming, which will be held in the coming months," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

"The IPCC’s findings are unequivocal and confirm the need to take action both on the cause of climate change, by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and on its consequences, to try to limit their impact. France is playing its full part in the effort, and work on the new French climate and energy strategy will enable us to step up our actions to this end. As part of its presidency of the Council of the European Union, France is making every effort to implement European commitments through the "Fit for 55" package. The ministerial conference on climate change that I’m organizing in Nantes on 7 and 8 March will contribute to the mobilization, given the urgency pointed out by the IPCC," said Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition.

"The international research community is committed to the production of knowledge on the origin and consequences of ongoing climate change and the responses to be made to it. I want to express my gratitude to the French scientific community for the huge job of integration and analysis done as part of the preparation and publication of this second part of the IPCC’s sixth report. On the one hand, it’s crucial to continue our efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve carbon neutrality. On the other hand, it’s essential to prepare our societies for impacts that can’t be avoided, by strengthening our adaptation strategy, with ambitious policies to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience to climate change. The IPCC Working Group II report shows the need to better understand the socio-economic dimensions of adaptation and the impacts of global change. Scientific communities are playing a fully active role and being supported to develop operational adaptation solutions, particularly nature-based solutions, and to support the ability of individuals and countries to respond, out of a concern for equity," said Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.