At COP28, Emmanuel Macron lists France’s priorities to deal with climate change

by time news

2023-12-02 22:03:47
The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, speaks during the session on tripling nuclear energy by 2050 at the United Nations climate summit, in Dubai, December 2, 2023. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

The heads of state were invited to speak for three minutes, Emmanuel Macron spoke for a good quarter of an hour: that much was needed to detail, in front of his counterparts from around the world, France’s priorities in the fight against climate change. The President of the Republic took advantage of his presence in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2, on the occasion of the 28th world climate conference (COP28), to put forward concrete proposals. Throughout this sequence of heads of state and government, leaders have multiplied announcements of voluntary commitments, which do not predict the outcome of the negotiations, which began in parallel.

If Emmanuel Macron did not dwell on the exact terms he wanted to see included in the final agreement which must be adopted on December 12 concerning fossil fuels – one of the main issues of this COP –, he clearly called on developed countries to quickly abandon these fuels. For this, he recalled that France had “a plan”materialized in his new energy roadmap, which plans to turn the page on oil in 2045 and that of gas in 2050. The Head of State has ordered other countries with the highest emissions to follow this model “planning and transparency”.

If the NGOs of the Climate Action Network welcomed a speech mentioning all fossils, they regret a calendar “too late” for industrialized countries, which “offers an unwelcome reprieve” at the exit of these energy sources causing global warming. “This timetable does not set any horizon for developing countries, also believes Arnaud Gilles, climate energy manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature. We cannot postpone the debate on their exit from oil and gas. »

Make “an absolute shift” on coal

But for Emmanuel Macron, the urgency is above all to operate “an absolute turning point” on coal and he launched, on Saturday, with other States, a new initiative intended to “accelerate just transitions”. While the fuel that emits the most CO2 already hardly benefits from public support, the main ambition is to put an end to private investments. “As I speak to you, the private sector benefits from the same interest rates whether it finances renewables, gas or coal. This is totally absurd,” insisted the head of state.

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Read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers At COP28, heads of state call for action but remain divided on fossil fuels

The objective is in particular to act through the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “The OECD can tell investors that financing coal is terrible for the climate but also economically risky, explains Leo Roberts, an expert at the E3G think tank. It can send a very strong message, which will not be binding but will be heard. » The initiative should also make it possible to reduce the cost of investments in renewables and support States to encourage them to shut down power plants early.

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