Climate change should be collectively addressed: France

Asking the international community to work together on climate change and not against each other, France today warned that a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not achievable without equitable access to sustainable development.
Noting that 2015 will be a “defining moment” as far as climate change is concerned, it also made an impassioned plea to the nations to agree on major issues before assembling in Paris later this year for inking a deal to limit global warming to below 2 degree celsius.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is the President of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 21), referred to the report produced by IPCC, a UN-appointed panel, which has “confirmed that climate change, or rather climate disruption, is a threat”, and said that the world should “act now” to deal with it.
“The scientific community has done its job – it is now to governments, businesses, civil society to act,” he said inaugurating the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organised by the Energy Resource Institute (TERI) here.
He asked political leadership all across the world to act in “collective spirit” to achieve low carbon growth.
“No doubt, 2015 will be a defining moment for our action. Today, more than ever, we need to address climate and development together, not against each other,” the visiting French leader said in the presence of Union Ministers Suresh Prabhu and Prakash Javadekar.
He sought increased financing from public and private sources for achieving USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund (GCF) and shifting business from high carbon to low carbon technology.
“No significant reduction of greenhouse gas emission can be achieved without equitable access to sustainable development,” Fabius said.
Operationalisation of GCF and access to clean technology at an affordable cost are among the key demands by developing nations including India from developed countries which are historically responsible for the climate change.
Fabius, who is also former Prime Minister of France said, as the president of CoP 21, his country will make sure that every voice is heard and hoped that the agreement to be signed in Paris would be “transparent, impartial and ambitious”.
“I hope that we shall be able to agree on major issues even before that,” he said.
Fabius said negotiations among 195 countries on such an
essential matter are a challenge and an agreement that would lead some countries to consider their growth hampered by its provisions would not be acceptable.
“Achieving an outcome that can genuinely be considered a success will require a shift in our economic models toward low-carbon pathways,” he said.
Speaking on India’s role, the French Minister said India is a major economy and therefore a major emitter, as well as a key player in both climate and sustainable development goal negotiations.
“At the same time, we all understand its constraints. We believe that India needs to, and will, develop even more in the future, and this is good news for the rest of the world.
“We need a signal that all countries are embarking on a trajectory toward a low-carbon economy, based on their national circumstances. No doubt that India could play a leading role in this effort,” he said.
The French minister also referred to the initiatives already launched by the government to achieve 100 gigawatt of solar energy by 2020 and 100 smart cities. “These goals are really ambitious,” he said.
Speaking at the function, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said India achieving 100 gigawatt of solar energy by 2020 is not a small thing.
“It means that 145 million tonnes of carbon emissions saved per year,” he said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu hoped that am agreement will be reached in Paris. (PTI)


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