THE MINISTER – What also struck me during my visit to China – and it’s not anecdotal – was the appalling climate situation. I went to Beijing and Tianjin, which is 150 km from the capital, and people couldn’t go out for a week! The pollution level was 18 times higher than the authorized maximum. The Chinese are perfectly aware of this, the Chinese authorities are starting to take measures, but even bolder measures are going to have to be taken.
Q. – Namely? Nuclear power, lots of nuclear power, to produce energy and replace coal?
THE MINISTER – Namely replacing coal, a change in industrial practices and also a lot of energy saving and the diversification of energy sources. People sometimes think it’s a marginal problem, but it’s an absolutely major problem. In the medium term, climate disruption is something that may completely turn our lives upside down. It so happens that France is going to host the major global climate conference at the end of next year, and the Chinese…
Q. – …the Chinese, because in Copenhagen it was the Chinese who scuppered everything?
THE MINISTER – …and the Chinese have agreed to our request for us to prepare this conference together, because they’re one of the keys.
They account for a very significant share of global pollution and they say that, because of their very large population, pollution in relation to the number of inhabitants is no higher than elsewhere. At any rate, we’re counting on our Chinese friends and partners to help us prepare this. When President Xi Jinping comes to France on an official visit at the end of March, it’s one of the main themes that will be discussed with the French President. (…)./.