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Climate change

Published on November 28, 2011
Excerpts from the communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting

Paris, November 23 , 2011

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Durban Climate Change Conference

The Minister of Ecology, Sustainable development, Transport and Housing made a statement on the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will begin in Durban on 28 November.

France, in close cooperation with her European partners, will work towards the full implementation of the decisions taken in Cancún and the strengthening of the international response to climate change.

The Kyoto Protocol sketches out a coordinated international response. It is also the only agreement containing legally binding commitments. France is campaigning within the European Union to ensure all the member states support a new commitment period after 2012. However, given the limited number of countries that wish to commit themselves beyond 2012 (they represent only one-sixth of global emissions), the extension of the Protocol cannot be an end in itself. France is therefore mobilizing to ensure preparations are launched in Durban for a new, broader, more ambitious agreement for the period after 2020 at the latest, bringing together all the countries’ commitments. France hopes the Durban Conference will thus create a new dynamic to limit global warming to a less than 2ºC rise above pre-industrial levels.

The Durban Conference provides a unique opportunity to highlight Africa’s role in the fight against climate change. France supports the development of concrete partnerships complementary to the negotiations and is in this respect promoting the so-called Paris-Nairobi Climate Initiative, launched with Kenya on 21 April, to develop access to clean energy in the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The French G20 presidency has been particularly involved in promoting the development of infrastructures in Africa, particularly in the energy field.

Acting on the funding promises made in Cancún is crucial to help developing countries tackle the challenges of climate change. $100 billion must be mobilized each year by 2020, particularly for the new Green Climate Fund. The innovative financing promoted by the French presidency in the G20 framework, such as the financial transaction tax and market mechanisms for international air and maritime transport, will play a key role in achieving these goals.

France is convinced that significant advances are necessary at the Durban Conference. She will set her sights high throughout the conference so that it may be a milestone in the fight against climate change./.

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