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Climate disruption/Climate Conference

Published on December 12, 2014
Press conference given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (excerpts)

Paris, December 10, 2014


Q. – Among the issues to be resolved, which are the ones that absolutely must be resolved in Lima, in your view?

THE MINISTER – We must be clear about what we’re asking for in the national contributions (INDCs). Moreover, the survey I had our embassies carry out – to find out who intends to make their contribution and when – is quite positive. Clearly it’s not a firm commitment, but by asking our diplomats to make inquiries we already arrive at significant cumulative figures. (…) We must be fairly clear about what there is in the contributions. There’s the well-known debate: do we include adaptation or not? Actually, those who want to include it will do so. I’m waiting for Lima to provide a number of quite clear indicators on this. That’s one point.

There’s another point: the two co-presidents are currently preparing a text, and my colleague Manuel [Pulgar-Vidal], the Peruvian President of the COP, is going to help them. So we’ll most likely have a pact. Now clearly, the fewer caveats we have the better That’s an important point.

There are also a whole series of factors, particularly on differentiation, but I think we must make progress while not putting the various parties involved into a situation of deadlock, because that’s what everyone I’ve spoken to has told me: “you’ll see, there are things which can’t be decided like this in terms of principle now, but which will be resolved over time”.

There you are, there are those factors, and there are also the ones which concern what we’re going to do before 2020; that’s an important point because we’ll be more credible in the eyes of quite a few delegations if we don’t wait until 2020 to act. So there’s a discussion there; I don’t know what will emerge from it regarding what we can do quickly, but speaking for the French delegation I think it’s desirable for us to be able to implement things before 2020. (…)

There are a whole series of engagements: January, February, March – three meetings already planned of the Durban Platform (ADP). I myself will be meeting former negotiators, because I think it’s very interesting to see how they negotiated, what lessons they’ve learnt during the different conferences that have taken place. There’s a whole series of gatherings on finance. There’s the political dimension; everyone says it, but this must become more political – yes, no doubt, but we must avoid what was a mistake in Copenhagen, namely that the heads of state are the last to arrive, everyone thinks that in one night they’re going to resolve the problems and they don’t, so we have to find a timetable. We have time to think about this.

And we must also have contacts with all countries and continents, whether it be this continent, Africa or Asia. Incidentally, we’ve had some nice surprises in this regard; I don’t know if you heard the statement by my Australian colleague – I think they’ve donated $200 million. (…) There are changes taking place that will have to occur little by little. We must be very careful, because the presidency must remain genuinely impartial and try to facilitate things. Mme Ségolène Royal is leading the French delegation and explaining France’s position within Europe, and I have a different role. (…)./.

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