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Durban climate conference

Published on December 16, 2011
Reply given by Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, December 13, 2011

As you know, for 10 years we’ve been trying to start a global negotiation involving all the countries of the world, particularly China, India and the United States, in reducing greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol covers only a minor share of greenhouse gas emissions – a share which, moreover, is falling, unlike that of the emerging countries. The United States didn’t want to make a commitment while China and India weren’t involved. Today it’s been done. After 12 days – including three nights – of negotiations, 195 countries of the world have agreed to start negotiations involving everyone, China, India and the United States included, on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

How exactly do things stand? The European Union is going to carry on with the Kyoto Protocol, but the negotiations are going to begin at the same time in order for the signing, before 2015, of a global agreement, which will enter into force before 2020. The Green [Climate] Fund has finally been set up and is going to become operational. It will help the developing countries fight climate change.

A programme of work has been drawn up on innovative financing for this fund. It follows Nicolas Sarkozy’s heavy involvement in this during France’s G20 presidency.

This agreement does not save the climate. Scientists say this and the agreement acknowledges it. Many more efforts will have to be agreed to avoid disaster. But a small step, when it commits all the countries of the world – including the most reluctant – is a major advance. You can be quite sure that France will remain mobilized, as she was in Durban, so that this progress is speeded up and we can finally limit climate change and keep the earth hospitable!./.

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