From the official website of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy:
Les enjeux de la conférence de 2015
The challenges of the 2015 conference
February 17, 2014 (updated February 20, 2014)
This conference should be a milestone in the negotiation of a future international agreement to come into force in 2020. The aim is that all countries, including the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions – developed as well as as developing countries – should commit themselves to a universal binding climate agreement.
France wants an agreement applicable to all, ambitious enough to achieve the two degree target, and with binding legal force.
So for three French ministers involved in organizing and chairing this conference (Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pascal Canfin, Minister for Development, Philippe Martin, Minister of Ecology) “Paris 2015 Climate” should be a meeting, not for mapping out the terrain, but for coming to decisions. It must be offensive, collective and positive. In order to achieve this aim, the future French Presidency is working in close coordination with the other two Presidencies, both current and future, in Poland and Peru to form a veritable troika to give political impetus to the negotiations. The agreement in 2015 will be binding and applicable to all, aiming to contain global warming to 2° C, but adopting the principle of differentiation. They [the three presidencies] recognize that “a series of steps” will have to be completed “to achieve universal and binding agreement” by late 2015. Furthermore, even the best deal possible in 2015 will have to be completed in order to enter into force in 2020 as planned .
With this conference, the French aim is to move from a sharing of burdens to a sharing of solutions: France is working on an agenda of solutions in order to establish a more positive discourse in advance of the conference. The agreement will indeed have to implement a paradigm shift, taking into account climate challenge not as a necessary “burden sharing” of emissions, but also as an opportunity for job and wealth creation, and for the creation of new modes of production and consumption.
Which is all well and good, except that two of the three ministers mentioned in the text were fired six months ago. The Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy is now Ségolène Royal, the mother of the President’s four children. Her energy bill is currently being discussed in parliament in an atmosphere of total indifference. Following the decapitation of a French citizen in Algeria, France became the second country to follow the USA in bombarding Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government (now followed by Britain, Belgium and Denmark). The country is in a state of collective hysteria which is not conducive to sensible discussion of energy policy.
Her energy bill proposes phasing out France’s use of fossil fuels (which is minimal) cutting the use of nuclear by a half, and replacing them by renewable energy sources, thus halving the cost of energy.
I googled Ségolène to find out how her fantasy policy of destroying the economy of the world’s fifth greatest power was coming along. The big story on the minister of ecology is that she’s just renounced recent measures to measure and control air pollution in the country’s creches as part of the government’s economy drive.
Her children are grown up now. You can hardly expect her to be worried about the quality of the air breathed by the tots when she’s in charge of closing down the world’s most efficient energy production facility, now, can you?