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Climate change

Published on November 7, 2014
Speech by the Ambassador of France to the United States, Gérard Araud

Washington, September 9, 2014

Dear M. Rondorf, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs of the German Embassy in the US,

Dear M. Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m very pleased to be here tonight for my first public appearance as Ambassador of France to the US, and glad that it’s on such an important topic, Climate Change.

President Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius have made climate change a top priority for French foreign policy and for the activities of our diplomatic network.

I’m delighted to join British and German colleagues for this event, and to associate the French Embassy with the Climate Policy Day.

As you know, France will host the COP 21 in Paris in 2015. The role of future Presidency of COP21 gives France particular responsibilities.
Between now and the Paris Climate Conference in December next year, we will be working hard to listen to all our partners, to understand their concerns, national circumstances and expectations for the 2015 agreement and try to identify the common ground between them.
As COP President, France is determined to facilitate the negotiations in an open, impartial, and constructive way.

At the same time, our priority is to shift the focus of global efforts away from an approach of burden-sharing and onto one of solution-sharing.
We know we will only meet the challenge of climate change if we see it also as an opportunity: to innovate; to create jobs and growth; to improve energy security and competitiveness; and to create healthier and fairer societies.

It’s for that reason that France wants to ensure the maximum involvement of civil society in the preparations for the Paris Conference, and that we’re working to promote – under the term ‘agenda positif’ – all the concrete initiatives being developed by the private sector, or local government, or NGOs, which will facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy and underpin the commitments countries make in the context of the UNFCCC.

And of course, just like the UK and Germany, France is also undertaking its own domestic energy transition. Draft legislation on ‘an energy transition for green growth’ was presented to the cabinet at the end of July, and will be debated by Parliament in the autumn.

Here in the US, the Embassy will be fully committed to ensure a success in Paris next year. Among different action we’ll take, I would mention a high level conference on Sustainable cities we will host here at the embassy in early 2015, and the project called FACTS – a tour of the US and Canada by keys French and US speakers on climate change.

The shared domestic commitment and diplomatic resources of the UK, Germany and France, as well as our EU partners, are major strengths that we can draw on as we prepare for a successful outcome from the Paris COP next year.

I will now leave the floor to our next speakers.

First, M. Peter Rondolf, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs of the German Embassy in the US.

And then, to Mister Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute that many of you know.

The World Ressource Institute is one of the key players working on climate change, here in DC, but also all over the world. World Ressource Institute works in more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Europe. WRI brings us a real international view of initiatives aimed at fighting Climate Change, and provides us with essential thought, and we thanks them a lot for that.

I’m really delighted to welcome Andrew Steer, who served previously as World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and previously was Director General at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) in London.

Thank you.

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