We’ll Always Have Paris

From the official website of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy:

http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Les-enjeux-de-la-conference-de.html

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?

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6 Responses to We’ll Always Have Paris

  1. Mooloo says:

    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,

    If “renewable” meant hydro-electric this might be workable. Assuming the Greens let them flood another twenty valleys.

    If it means wind and solar, they must be joking! On a still day in winter the country would, literally, freeze.

    I know the French Socialists are incapable of moving on as things change (their leader is still “First Secretary” for goodness sake) but since when has it been Socialist to deprive workers of the benefits of modern civilisation?

    Marine Le Pen must be lapping this up! All those working class in the big cities will continue to move to her, as the Socialists threaten to destroy the jobs they depend on, and the UMP continue to implode.

  2. John Shade says:

    Since when, Mooloo? I’d guess the transition began in the 1960s. The growing prosperity of the working class made the comrades look too silly for words, as did the dismal failures of the USSR and East Germany, for example. But their hatred of the world persisted. Along comes the invention of a CO2 crisis. All that prosperity is bad! Wicked capitalists! Long-live the environment! Etc etc.

  3. alexjc38 says:

    It’s a shame – France, with her reliable nuclear power stations, appeared to be one of the last bastions of energy sanity in Europe, I thought. It’s often been a relief to look at the Gridwatch website on dark, becalmed winter evenings and see the contribution of the French interconnector helping to make up for the uselessness of our wind farms. Ah, well.

    In Europe in the Middle Ages, there were many instances of collective madness, including “dancing mania” and mass hallucinations brought on by ergotism. What, I wonder, will future historians make of this new “offensive, collective and positive” insanity?

  4. Mooloo says:

    John, I think you’re thinking of when Anglo-Socialism began to fail. The French are very different, and most certainly did not follow the Anglo line in this regard.

    The French continued long after 1960 to vote strongly for Communists, let alone Socialists. The PCF had 21 seats in the Legislative Assembly as late as 2001, and there are other Communist parties as well. The PS is no “New Labour” either.

    But recently there has been a dramatic shift as PCF and PS voters defect to the FN. And every anti-industrial policy by the PS, like the proposed move to renewables, makes it worse.

  5. John Shade says:

    Oui, Mooloo j’imagine que vous avez raison. Merci de votre assistance.

  6. John Shade:
    The French Socialist Party has always been resolutely anti-Stalinist (which is understandable, given that for much of the 20th century they were the junior partners to the Communist Party on the left.)
    Mooloo’s right. The French socialist party is a special case. Mitterand ‘s victory in the presidential election of 1981 was the first socialist electoral success since the Popular Front government in 1936. So when it was discovered that Mitterand had been a senior civil servant in Pétain’s wartime pro-fascist government, there was a general tendency to forgive and forget. Similarly, when it was discovered that socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, while rising through the ranks of the socialist party had been secretly spying for a Trotskyist sect under the nom de guerre of “Michel”, it was generally written off as a youthful prank. (Imagine if it were discovered that David Cameron was secretly passing information to UKIP using the pseudonym of “Ron” – well, anything’s possible, I suppose…)
    The reliability of EDF as Purveyors of Energy to Her Majesty’s Subjects noted by Alex has its origins in the French post-war consensus, when de Gaulle ran the country, and the Communist Party looked after the nuts and bolts of the economy. When the Communist party collapsed post 1989 the Socialist Party should have recouped their electorate with a traditional left-wing policy, instead of which they went for the gay marriage vote.
    Ecology Minister Ségolàne Royal was interviewed on France’s major news media yesterday.

    After wasting precious minutes trying to get a reaction to the general disarray of the socialist government, the journalist came round to her special responsibilities one third of the way into the interview, We learned that France is the spearhead of renewable energy projects, that there were 100,000 green jobs waiting to be created, and that there would be no fracking as long as she was Minister.
    Ségolène is positioning herself a head of the bonkers wing of the left, because that’s where the left votes are. We don’t like fracking because the Americans do it. We don’t like nuclear because it’s yucky (look at Fukishima, ok, no-one actually died at Fukishima, and in fact no-one actually got ill at Fukishima, but, you know, it”’s nuclear, and therefore yucky..)

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