Minister explains France’s efforts to implement climate deal

Council of Ministers’ meeting – COP21, one year on

Paris, 14 December 2016

The Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations, made a statement on COP21, one year on.

1. A universal agreement, implemented in record time

The Paris Agreement was adopted on 12 December 2015 by the 196 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

- To date, 117 countries accounting for more than 80% of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement. This includes the European Union, as well as 18 and soon 22 European countries.

- This historic speed shows that the international community has understood the urgency of the situation.

2. Resolutely committing Europe

At European level, the member states have decided to reduce the EU’s emissions 40% by 2030 compared with 1990. At the European Council, France is calling for talks on sharing the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to be speeded up.

- France has increased its own target in order to facilitate consensus towards a fair distribution of the effort among the member states.

- The Environment Council must go as far as possible in February 2017 towards quickly deciding the new operational rules for the carbon market and the distribution of (non-ETS) effort among member states.

3. Mobilizing civil society: elected representatives, businesses, researchers, the public

Towns and cities have a decisive role to play in reducing pollution linked to transport, buildings, industrial production and waste, and they bear special responsibility for strengthening the resilience of coastal regions and reducing urban heat islands by creating green spaces.

On 2 December, the members of C40 – the organization bringing together 86 of the world’s largest cities – made a commitment to give themselves climate action plans by 2020 that would enable temperature rises to be limited to under 1.5ºC.

-  Several cities have pledged to use solely electric public transport.

Seas and oceans, which cover 70% of the earth’s surface and play a central role in regulating the climate, have been placed at the heart of the climate negotiations.

-  An international conference on the Mediterranean will be held in February.

-  It will bring together the 22 countries of the Mediterranean rim on the basis of practical commitments and a shared action plan for protecting this common good, in the areas of water treatment, waste, fisheries and biodiversity protection.

Research has been a key element in the global awareness of climate disruption, thanks to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to which France has been a long-standing contributor.

-  The Environment Ministry will finance new research programmes on climate disruption, its causes and consequences, with the support of the energy transition fund.

-  They will focus in particular on oceans, climate change, pollinators and biodiversity, and the links between health and the environment.

Green finance, and investment which is responsible in terms of the climate, are also important levers to mobilize.

-  The Energy Transition for Green Growth Act stipulates that these practices should be implemented in several sectors, particularly through Article 173, which increases investors’ obligation to be transparent.

-  This article is quoted as an example in the report published today by the Bloomberg Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

4. Continuing to implement the [Global Climate] Action Agenda

-  France will remain especially involved in the major alliances it helped launch during COP21, in particular:

-  the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative. The meeting of the Initiative’s board of directors during the African Union summit on 31 January will finalize the setting-up of the governance structure of the Initiative, which France will continue to back to develop 10GW of renewable energy by 2020;

-  the International Solar Alliance, whose statutes are going to be ratified with a view to their swiftly coming into force so that calls for solar technology projects can begin;

-  ocean and climate dynamics, which includes initiatives such as the Mediterranean Plan for Blue Growth and the Plastic Pollution Coalition;

-  the CREWS [Climate Risk and] Early Warning Systems Initiative, the “4 per 1000” initiative, which aims to develop soil carbon stock, and the water, buildings and transport alliances bring together collectives of highly committed players.

5. Ensuring France continues to set an example

France must go on supporting concrete action and deploying green-growth solutions to implement the Paris Agreement.

Developing renewable energy: on Monday 12 December the European Commission gave the green light to four French support schemes for renewable energies: geothermal, wind, methanization and hydroelectricity. The tariff orders will be published this week.

Rolling out clean mobility: four decrees for the implementation of the Energy Transition Act setting out obligations in terms of low-emission vehicles will be published in the next few days.

Exemplary buildings: the decree setting a standard of energy and carbon performance for all public buildings will be published before the end of the year./.

Published on 16/12/2016

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