Paris Climate Conference
At the European Union Council of Environment Ministers in Luxembourg, Ségolène Royal explained to her counterparts the state of progress of preparations for COP21 in Paris.
A month before the conference, work is making headway and the momentum is good. The publication of more than 150 countries’ commitments shows an underlying trend towards an agreement in Paris.
Ségolène Royal said the weeks between now and the COP will include two milestones:
the ministerial-level pre-COP meeting: organized in Paris from 8 to 10 November and open to all parties, it will enable the main points requiring political discussion to be identified in order to reach an agreement; more than 60 ministers from all the negotiation groups have confirmed their presence; the objective will not be to negotiate a text but to explore compromise routes;
the opening of the COP on 30 November by the heads of state and government. They will have the opportunity to give strong impetus from the outset and an ambitious mandate to negotiators to reach an agreement.
She emphasized that European Union member states should focus their attention and energy on three goals:
the inclusion in the agreement of a five-year review mechanism, to enable us progressively to reach the 2ºC target;
the harnessing of climate finance: $62 billion has already been mobilized, validated by the OECD in Lima. The target of $100 billion a year by 2020 has never seemed so attainable. France will play its full role in these efforts, mobilizing as of now €3 billion a year and then, from 2020 onwards, €5 billion a year. All players, all countries but also the multilateral development banks and the private sector must put every effort into this. The Ecofin Council (of EU finance ministers) will examine ambitious conclusions on climate finance on 10 November;
the success of the Agenda of Solutions, the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, from 1 to 8 December, which is a visible way of showing and aggregating the commitments of all the players who are taking concrete steps to fight climate change. This will be accorded a major place at the COP, with the Action Day on 5 December, which will be a key moment in the mobilization of civil society.
Finally, Ségolène Royal emphasized that the European Union must promote its policies more effectively. The EU was exemplary with its contribution to the agreement, which speeded up the process of presenting the other national contributions. The European Union must keep its role as a driving force in order to achieve these goals./.