COP21: Obama called the world to “live up”

nous-avons-pouvoir-determiner-notreUS President Barack Obama on Monday urged world leaders to “be worthy” of the unprecedented challenges posed by global warming, at the World Climate Conference in Paris.

“We have the power to determine our future here and now, but only if we show ourselves to the height issue,” he started before some 150 leaders gathered at Le Bourget near the French capital.

The leader of the second largest gas emitter countries greenhouse (after China) also strongly rejected the argument that the fight against climate change would be bad news for the economy.

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“We proved that there is no conflict between strong economic growth and environmental protection,” he began. “We broke the old arguments of inaction (…) This should give us hope.”

Quoting Martin Luther King who said that a time comes when it is still “too late to act,” he stressed that, on the climate, the time was now close.

“But if we act here, if we act now (…) then it will not be too late,” he immediately added.

“Knowing that the next generation will benefit from what we do here, can we imagine a more gratifying reward”, was he still questioned.

The United States pledged on a 26% to 28% reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 compared to 2005.

Le président français Francois Hollande…. (PHOTO THIBAULT CAMUS, ASSOCIATED PRESS) – image 2.0
Francois Hollande French President.

“A great hope,” said Francois Hollande
President Francois Hollande on Monday urged some 150 world leaders gathered at Le Bourget for the COP21 not to “disappoint” the “great hope” generated by the conference at its official opening.

“This is to decide here in Paris, the very future of the planet,” said the head of the French state, speaking of a “historic day” while “never had a conference hosted many authorities in as many countries. ”

“We are up against the wall … it is not insurmountable,” he added.

“The good feelings, declarations of intent are not enough, we are near a breaking point,” he insisted.

At the end of the conference, “December 12, an agreement must be found in Paris,” said Francois Hollande, which requires an agreement “differentiated, universal and binding”.

For the French president, a “good agreement, a large agreement” would be based on “three conditions”. The first, he said, would “draw a credible path to contain global warming below 2 degrees Celsius or even 1.5 degrees”.

The second, he continued, would be to bring “the climate challenge a united response” so that “no state should be able to evade its commitments” even though the development gap must be “taken into account” .

“Developed countries must accept their historic responsibility, it is they who have for years issued more greenhouse gases; Emerging countries must accelerate energy transition, developing countries should be supported in their adaptation to climate impacts, “said he summarized.

As for the third condition, that is, he continued, “that all our societies, the vast plurality, diversity, begin to move.”

After a minute of silence that preceded his speech in tribute to victims of jihadist attacks of 13 November in Paris, François Hollande said: “These tragic events befalling us, but at the same time forcing us.”

“What is at issue with the climate conference is peace” while “warming announces conflict as the cloud carries the storm,” he has developed.

“It causes migrations that throw more refugees on roads that do not generate wars” while “States may not be able to satisfy the vital needs of their populations with risk of famine, rural exodus or clashes to access the property from increasingly scarce called the water, “he argued.

“Terrible threats”

“The world faces two terrible threats, terrorism and climate change,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the Peruvian Minister of Environment, president of the Lima climate conference in 2014, opening the COP21 before handing over to Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, who chairs the Paris meeting.

In the Bourget exhibition center (north of Paris), transformed into a fortress after the jihadist attacks of November 13, the American Barack Obama, Chinese Xi Jinping, Justin Trudeau and the Canadian counterparts around the world were welcomed by French President Francois Hollande and the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, protected by 2800 police and military on alert.

The marathon negotiations to last until December 11.

Sunday, several leaders, including Barack Obama, the President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, came to pray before the Bataclan concert hall where 90 people, young people essentially were killed.

At Le Bourget, world leaders will speak in turn – for 3 minutes maximum – on the commitment of their countries to the climate.

The day before, many steps over the world have brought together hundreds of thousands of protesters who demanded “a strong climate agreement.” They have been tarnished in Paris by clashes which have resulted in over 300 arrests.

“This is the conference hope that can change many things,” said Laurent Fabius Monday morning on France Inter radio.

Barack Obama said being “optimistic about what we can accomplish,” in a short text posted on Facebook.

According to the China Daily, Xi was to “galvanize” the COP21 to promote “an historic agreement, balanced and fair”, including defending “the interests of developing economies.”

Political leadership

The COP21 welcomes 10,000 delegates and as many observers and journalists: the biggest climate conference, the largest concentration of heads of state gathered outside the UN’s Annual Meeting, the biggest diplomatic meeting ever organized in France …

Objective of these two weeks: to develop the first agreement committing the entire international community to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to limit global warming to 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial era.

The conclusion is drawn: the world is warming, due to emissions from burning fossil fuels, but also modes of agricultural production and a more intense deforestation each year.

From Pakistan to the Pacific Islands, California in the vineyards of Bordeaux in France, the deregulated climate upsets entire regions: droughts, coasts eroded by the sea, coral reef eroded by ocean acidification …

Beyond 2 ° C, scientists fear a runaway cyclones repeatedly, falling agricultural yields, flooding territories, from New York to Mumbai …

For the Paris conference, 183 countries (out of 195) have published their emissions reduction plans, an unexpected participation, which however still puts the world on a path of + 3 ° C.

The summit, initiated by France, aims to give a “political impetus” to a negotiating process which remains difficult, as this issue affects the very foundations of economies and development.

All countries have their “red lines” they will not want to cross, the South, for example calling the North, responsible for global history, to honor their financial promises.

Pressed to advance on the draft agreement, negotiators resumed work Sunday and must meet Monday night.

This day will also be punctuated by numerous bilateral meetings, beyond the climate.

Amid Syrian conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wanted to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, after Turkish fighter aircraft shot down on Tuesday a Russian bomber.

Obama will hold talks with Messrs. Xi and Modi, Mr. Holland with Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian and Egyptian presidents Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

The French capital also lived at the time of COP21, 6300 monitored by members of the security forces and subjected to movement restrictions.

“By changing climate, we become the architects of our own destruction.”
Prince Charles
“Fighting against climate change, it is a mission in which all of humanity must seize.”
Xi Jinping,
Chinese President
“Never has such a great responsibility had been in the hands of so few people, the world is watching you, the world is counting on you.”
Christiana Figueres,
General Secretary of the UN Climate Convention

The Stopru