Mrs. Lilas Bernheim, Deputy Consul general, presented the state of play of the preparation of COP 21 – 5th June 2015 [fr]
The 5th of June is the World Environment Day. To point out this important day, Mrs. Lilas Bernheim, Deputy Consul general of France in Hong Kong and Macau, presented – in front of a well-informed audience - the current preparation of COP 21 (goals of French presidency, meetings’ progress, Hong Kong interests). Hong Kong NGOs, universities, business community and consulates were represented.
France is going to host the 21st “Conference Of Parties“ ( COP 21) of the UNFCCC from November 30 to December 11, in Paris, the largest diplomatic event ever organized in France. Mrs. Lilas Bernheim reminded of the gravity of the COP21’s challenge.
The objective of this meeting is to finalize a new international agreement on a post-2020 regime. By the end of COP21, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, all nations, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, both developed or developing countries, should be bound by a universal agreement on climate, applicable to all and ambitious enough to limit global warming to 2°C.
Before this major event, France is playing an important international role by involving all parties and sectors in order to reach a “Climate Alliance”.
Mrs. Bernheim described the 4 pillars of the “Climate Alliance”:
1. to reach a universal, legally binding, lasting and dynamic agreement that demonstrates that countries are taking action today and that they shall take additional strong measures in the long term to achieve the common objective of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
2. to have before the end of October, all the national contributions for the period covering 2020-2025 or 2020-2030. The intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) need to comprise commitments to reduce emissions, but may also contain elements for adaptation.
3. a financial package to help the least developed and most vulnerable countries to turn over their economy to a low Carbone one – before and after 2020.
4. the « Agenda of solutions » or “Lima-Paris Action Plan” launched in December 2014 by Peru, UNSG and France; in order to mobilize actors and foster initiatives. It will complement and reinforce government’s necessary actions and enable to take action before 2020.
Mrs Bernheim informed the audience that the special group of negotiators of the UNFCCC, the ADP group (ADP, Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action), meets regularly to elaborate the text of the Paris agreement and that 38 states, representing one third of global emissions have presented their INDCs.
Then Mrs Bernheim explained the arguments in favor of the success of the COP 21, pointing out that the awareness of the development of climate disruption and its catastrophic consequences for the living conditions of the whole humanity is now widely shared. Indeed, this scientific reality isn’t denied any more thanks to IPCC works. Companies also perfectly understand they need to move towards green growth. Moreover, politicians in different countries have realized the need to move. Climate disruption isn’t only a constraint; it’s an opportunity of growth for companies and countries.
Role and opportunities for Hong Kong were presented to the audience of local actors. Hong Kong might face strong climate disruptions but Hong Kong has the assets - funds, expertise, and governance - to innovate and set the example for low-carbon smart cities in China and Asia. Hong Kong has a role to play, as part of China, as a mega-city belonging to Large Cities Climate Leadership Group C40, as a potential contributor to the “agenda of solutions”. There are clear opportunities for Hong Kong companies to innovate, create economic value and ensure sustainable growth.
At the end of her speech, Mrs. Lilas BERNHEIM opened the talk to the audience.
Lilas Berhneim - Crédits Photo : Justin Monier
Mrs Bernheim took the opportunity of this meeting to present the program of events on climate change organized by the Scientific Office of the Consulate general of France in Hong Kong and Macao. Through this cooperative project called “OCEANS, RIVERS AND CLIMATE CHANGE: When Climate Makes Waves…”, the French Consulate wants to play an active role in raising awareness of students, teachers from all departments, and the general public. A series of exhibitions, talks, lectures and educational activities are introducing these complex phenomena to the Hong Kong public from the 19th of April until the 11th of December.
The next progress report meeting will take place on the 8th of September at the Consulate general of France in Hong Kong and Macau (by invitation only).