Official speeches and statements - June 17, 2016
The French President expresses his deep shock following the murder of British MP Jo Cox.
He extends his condolences and sympathy to her family and close friends. He also wants to express his full solidarity with the British people, who are shocked by this announcement.
I was very deeply shocked to learn of the death of the British MP Jo Cox.
My thoughts go out to her family and close friends. I extend my condolences and all my solidarity to them and the British authorities in this terrible ordeal.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This afternoon I had a meeting with President Mahamadou Issoufou, because Niger and France have special relations linked to history and also to the shared determination to combat fanaticism and terrorism.
Niger itself has paid a heavy price, and [has done so] again in recent days, with the attacks Boko Haram has launched from northern Nigeria, which sadly claimed the lives of several Nigerien soldiers and injured several others.
France has once again expressed its support for Niger and for the forces also there, partly in the framework of Operation Barkhane which we’re conducting. Our forces are at the disposal of the multinational force, which is itself being deployed as I speak.
But France is also being hit by terrorism. Last night there was an attack that was both appalling and cruel, against a man and a woman, a police commander and his partner, herself an Interior Ministry employee. To add to the pain and horror, these terrorist crimes were committed in front of their own child, a child aged three and a half.
Once again, I want to say France is concerned and affected, insofar as two of its bravest servants were attacked in this way. They were attacked because they belonged to the police. That’s what the terrorist - we’ll see who his accomplices were - intended to give his action: this terrible idea of attacking a man and a woman because they belonged to the police.
I’ll be standing alongside our country’s security forces, who, as I speak, are experiencing very great sadness and very great anger. The security forces have been exemplary, outstanding, in the fight against terrorism, since we’ve been especially affected in recent years. Those security forces must have the nation’s support. They will have it. They’ll also be eager to express, with us, their compassion for the families of the two public employees concerned and also for the children: the father had two children, and the couple had one child together. Our attitude to those children will be the only valid attitude: they’ll be recognized as war orphans, because their father, their parents, were targeted for belonging to the police and for representing the state and therefore the whole of France.
We’ll also be mobilized to the maximum level in the face of the terrorist threat. We have been for several months; I myself have ensured that additional resources can be deployed and that vigilance is increased to its maximum level. We’ll continue, because at stake are not only the defence of our principles, our values, but also the fight we’ve embarked on against Islamist terrorism and fanaticism everywhere, and particularly in Africa, and I’ll come back to this.
Ultimately we’re driven by the same cause: to ensure that those who want to develop their messages of hate can be prevented from doing do, those who want to destabilize entire regions, countries, can also be blocked and can be punished when they commit unspeakable acts, and those acts have occurred in recent months. My thoughts return to those girls kidnapped in Nigeria, to those men and women massacred in villages around Lake Chad, to what happened with Boko Haram’s latest attack. There you are: it’s the same battle, and you can’t dissociate either the countries or the people or the victims! They’re the victims of the same fanaticism, the fanaticism we have to overcome.
Finally, I want to emphasize the support France will provide Niger in this battle. There will be—we talked about it—a job of cooperation, training, equipment, intelligence, and France will also take part—as it pledged to do when I went to the Abuja summit in Nigeria—in support of the multilateral force, thus striking the necessary blows to Boko Haram.
Likewise, Barkhane is being deployed throughout the region and again in recent days in Mali, because there’s been an ever-repeated attempt by terrorist groups to destabilize northern Mali. I also discussed development with the President of Niger, because it was also a commitment I made during the visit I paid to Niger before the presidential election, to say we’re fully conscious of Niger’s needs. Among other things, we’ve decided to make an effort in our budgetary aid; we’re also going to mobilize the French Development Agency, particularly in relation to the Kandadji Dam, and we’re also going to ensure our businesses continue to invest, and there will be contacts between President Issoufou and the MEDEF [French business confederation] so that we can always have these investments in the region.
We must also ensure we control immigration, because Niger is a transit country, a country that is also seeing a lot of refugees coming from Mali, from Nigeria, and so it’s in our common interest to be able to control this migration. We’re going to do so in the framework of the programme we established together at the Valletta summit, with the whole European Union, so that there can quickly be access to the trust fund, access to finance, to encourage Niger’s development and the fight against immigration.
That’s what I wanted to say, at a very serious time when our two countries are themselves being attacked, at a time when terrorism must be combated with the necessary intensity and the essential cooperation, a time when we’re also conscious we must encourage development policies and confirm the partnership between France and Niger, and we consolidated and further extended this through President Issoufou’s visit.
The Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations, made a statement on COP21 and its implementation six months on.
Following the conclusion of the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015, France’s action has focused on several key areas: the actual implementation of the agreement, European efforts, and the speeding-up of the [Global Climate] Action Agenda.
1/ RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT
The French President this morning signed the act authorizing the ratification of the Paris Agreement. France, which had a duty to set an example, accelerated this procedure; both houses approved the agreement virtually unanimously, the National Assembly on 17 May and the Senate on 8 June.
Thanks to intensive efforts, the signature stage of the agreement was successfully completed in New York on 22 April, attended by 175 parties. The emphasis is now on ratification, which in many countries requires authorization by national parliaments. The Paris Agreement will come into force 30 days after 55 countries accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified it. This stage could be completed as early as 2017, with the encouraging announcements by China, the United States and India, among others. The ratification instrument will be formally deposited at the same time as those of all the other European Union (EU) member states, after they have completed their domestic procedures. France is working to ensure that the EU and its member states speed up their ratification timetables. W must ensure that the EU is indeed a party to the agreement when it comes into force. Following a meeting between the COP21 President and the European Commission President, the Commission therefore decided to speed up the EU’s procedure to ratify the agreement. It presented its draft decision on 10 June, with a view to adoption by the EU Council of Ministers following approval by the European Parliament, if possible before COP22 in Marrakesh.
2/ GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION AGENDA
France is continuing its efforts to ensure that the momentum of the Action Agenda deployed in Le Bourget is maintained and speeded up. Initiatives being promoted at the highest level are making progress:
- The International Solar Alliance, championed by Indian Prime Minister Modi, aims to bring together the countries of the intertropical zone to attract more than $1,000 billion of solar investment by 2030. In Delhi at the end of January, the French President took part in the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the future building of the Alliance’s Interim Secretariat; in New York on 22 April, on the sidelines of the signature ceremony of the Paris Agreement, two programmes were launched in the framework of this initiative, one on financing projects and reducing capital costs, the other on decentralized solar applications;
- Mission Innovation is making headway: 20 countries accounting for more than 75% of global investments in energy R&D, pledged to double their public investment in clean energy R&D in the next five years. The target for 2021 is nearly $30 billion a year, compared to $15 billion today.
- The global Carbon Pricing [Leadership] Coalition has met twice, in Washington in April during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank [and IMF], and in Paris on 10 June. 12% of global emissions are covered by a price: the Coalition’s aim is to achieve a doubling of coverage to 25% by 2020 and a quadrupling by 2030. The fourth Business Dialogue meeting, held in Paris on 10 June and opened by the French President, provided an opportunity to gauge the scale of momentum for carbon pricing at global level;
- Special emphasis is being put on the African Renewable Energy Initiative, which the COP21 presidency is promoting to African heads of state and government, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank. It should soon take concrete shape, with a report by the [COP21] President proposing a first series of projects to improve access to electricity on that continent, which is severely affected by climate change but has not caused it;
- The COP21 President is also preparing two reports on women and climate and on security and climate, with special recommendations on these issues;
- The road map of the global coalition for sustainable building and construction has been introduced.
3/ FRENCH DOMESTIC MEASURES
France pledges to meet its climate commitments. With the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act and the publication of the administrative order of 24 April 2016 on targets for developing renewable energy, France has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% between 1990 and 2050. France has thus become the first country to include so specifically in its national law the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Energy Europe commitments. The adoption of the implementing decrees is being speeded up, with 75% of implementing decrees finalized. The mobilization of non-state actors is also under way, with 400 positive-energy regions benefiting from the support of the Energy Transition Financing Fund to the tune of euro500 million, generating work with a total value of three times as much. Moreover, France will be the first country to issue green bonds devoted to environmental investment projects, has introduced a requirement for green reporting for investors, and has announced the introduction of a minimum carbon price for electricity in its next budget. The Carbon Pricing Coalition and the Business Dialogue have speeded up the involvement of businesses and financial sectors.
4/ MEETINGS IN 2016
There are many engagements between now and COP22 in Marrakesh from 7 to 17 November: the climate issue will be on the agenda of the G20 summit on 4 and 5 September in Hangzhou, China, as it was at the G7 summit in Ishe-Shima, Japan, on 26 and 27 May; a meeting on the Action Agenda will be held in Rabat on 23 and 24 June, the Business & Climate Summit in London on 28 and 29 June, the Petersburg [Climate] Dialogue in Berlin on 4 and 5 July on the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, a [Global] Conference on Health and Climate [Change] in Paris on 7 and 8 July with the World Health Organization, the Mediterranean Forum on 18 and 19 July in Tangier, a territorial summit in Nantes from 26 to 28 September, and a pre-COP meeting in Marrakesh on 17 and 18 October. All these meetings will provide opportunities to affirm the global goal to be more ambitious on reducing greenhouse gases, in order to keep the average temperature rise on the planet below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, while continuing the action taken to limit the temperature rise to 1.5ºC.