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Climate change

Published on January 23, 2014
New Year greetings by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, to the diplomatic corps

Paris, January 17, 2014


France has taken on for 2014 a responsibility that will be completed in 2015, namely to organize the climate summit. As I often say, we volunteered to host it, and we didn’t have many competitors because there was the memory of Copenhagen. It was a resounding failure, not for the organizers but for the international community.

The conditions for 2015 seem difficult. But (…) it’s a challenge. The protection of the planet should bring us all together, because whatever our sensitivities, whatever our beliefs, we’ve inherited the world and we must ensure our children can live in a respected environment.

So we must set to work. We’ve done so. I’m going to tell you what makes me confident. Firstly, President Obama’s determination. I would add that in his speech when he was re-elected, he spoke in strong terms about the issue. I’ll have the opportunity to talk to him about it in February, during my state visit.

I also have confidence in the attitude of large countries like China. I’ll be meeting President Xi Jinping very soon, in the framework of the 50th anniversary of our establishing diplomatic relations. I know that in China, India and all those great emerging countries, people are becoming aware of this. The Africans, who may also be the first victims of climate change, are also playing an active role.

That leaves the Europeans. With the Europeans it’s the easiest part; we always agree, but it can take time! So we’ve taken our precautions. We’re going to start at the European Council in March, in order to take a united, firm position. As for the UN Secretary-General, he’s become personally involved and will organize a summit of heads of state and government in New York in September.

In addition to all the factors that make us confident, we’re working in close cooperation with Latin America, particularly Peru, because the next climate conference will be held [in Lima] in December 2014, before ours.
There you are: the timetable is known, the road map more or less, and there’s a great deal of goodwill. We must succeed! (…)./.

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