France and China to prepare 2015 climate summit together
Climate – Excerpts from the interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Europe 1/i-Télé/Le Monde, Paris, 2 March 2014
Excerpts from the speech by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at Nankai University: "Tianjin, February 24, 2014 "France’s international priorities and France and China’s strategic partnership" ...
(on France-China Cooperation on Climate Change)
....2) Our second line of action is the planet. Most of the issues we are facing today are international. Yet the answers which are provided to them are often national. Our common view – that of both China and France – is that we must develop a worldwide approach, able to meet the needs of humanity for today and tomorrow.
Our planet is being seriously threatened by climate change (i. e. climate disruption). You understand this better than anyone because the Chinese civilization is based on the idea of harmony between heaven and humankind and because you are badly hit by pollution. However, climate chaos prevails, and unless powerful action is taken it will continue to prevail. This is why the preparation of the international climate conference to be held in Paris in 2015 should be a priority for us all.
People have become increasingly aware of the climate abyss in recent years, but have still failed to realize the extent of the danger. National, economic and geopolitical obstacles have prevented appropriate decisions from being taken to address the danger thus far.
France has decided to take action on this issue. The objective of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference that we will host is a universal, legally binding and differentiated agreement that limits the global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This objective, which is difficult to meet because specialists are talking of a 4 to 5°C rise, is a matter of survival for many regions of the world, which are threatened by submersion, desertification, pollution and other disasters.
How should we proceed? With dialogue, listening to everyone – and particularly major actors such as China – solidarity and cooperation. I know that the Chinese people believe they have been unjustly criticized in recent years when it comes to this issue. The reality is that we share the same planet and we all must take action to ensure that is remains habitable.
France will take a positive line because the climate is not simply a responsibility to share, but also a chance to seize, the chance to come up with a development model together, so-called “green growth”. That is why industries devoted to protecting the environment and saving energy already employ 30 million Chinese workers!
China holds one of the keys to making the Paris conference successful. In their reform strategy, the Chinese authorities have made the environment a priority. China is indeed addressing major environmental challenges. Ambitious objectives have been set for tackling climate change and ways to increase these efforts even further are being explored. China is doing a great deal at national level. Preparation of the Paris conference is an opportunity for China to showcase these efforts at international level. By taking on a leadership role in this area, in cooperation with France, China will be able to change how things are done and rally the support of the international community in order to save our common heritage. I know from my recent conversation with President Xi Jinping that he is strongly dedicated to this task.
“Planet” means also a better organisation of our planet. Since the 70s, efforts have been made in order to better cooperate: G7, then G8, then G20 meetings have been organized and they play an important role. But the UN still has to be reformed. We in France believe that the Security Council, conceived just after World War II, must be enlarged to welcome decisive new players and better reflect the state of the world. We think that new members must join the club of permanent members, such as Brazil, India, Japan, Germany and two African states. We believe, too, that some conditions must be put voluntarily to the use of veto by permanent members in order to avoid the paralysis which, for instance, has for three years prevented the Syrian tragedy from being solved. Our planet deserves better governance.