Speech of the Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Bridging Climate Change and Development
Opening speech, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh, HE Sophie Aubert
16th of May 2015
Excellency Mr Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary,
Dear eminent experts on climate changes,
Dear friends, dear all,
France will host the 21st International Conference of Parties on climate change at the end of this year: COP21.
This is a big challenge, because all of us know how important is the need to find out a way to build a common vision to the world we want to offer to our children.
That’s why we consider in France that COP21 must lead to an agreement involving all the countries.
We want to have a global commitment of the entire world, in order to control greenhouse gas emissions and to build a low carbon society, as these two products are now proved to be a major reason for increase of temperature.
We all know now that it will be very difficult to face the impact of climate change if the increase of the global temperature is not contained below the 2° by the end of the century.
But it remains that this agreement that we are expecting from COP21 can’t be the end of a process. It will have to be the very beginning of a new process, involving all of us in order to build a better world, for the sake of the future generations.
COP21 is not only a legally binding agreement. It is also a matter of transfer of technology, in order to be sure that all the countries will benefit from the progress of the science to tackle efficiently the impact of climate changes.
And of course COP21 will have to show progress, regarding financing of the measures to be taken all over the world, in the fields of adaptation and mitigation. France was the first country to contribute to the Green fund, for one billion €. Now the fund has achieved 10,2 billion $. We, as citizens, have to be vigilant regarding the way this money will be mobilized.
Here in Bangladesh, we are in one of the most exposed countries to the consequences of climate changes.
That’s why this Embassy wants to contribute to the global action on climate changes, before and after COP21.
We want to develop a positive approach to address climate change issues. It is no use to be pessimist because we have only one planet to live in. We must be optimistic and consider the way to take advantage of climate change.
First, we have to think positively about the way to tackle climate change and development. We must sort out a way to articulate these two issues as complementary ones, and not to oppose them. Both issues are the same one to address. This is what will be discussed in our first round table.
Second, we would like to focus on the positive solutions emerging from the civil society and the private sector, in order to address the impact of climate changes. These impacts can be seen as a threat, but they can also be seen as an opportunity to imagine and develop effective solutions for a better life. This will be the focus points of our second and third round tables. This is also the subject of one of our photo exhibitions.
Third, we want to let you discover some artistic visions of Bangladesh facing climate change, through the eyes of a French photographer and this is the goal of our second photo exhibition.
Fourth, we want to give you the opportunity to watch, or watch again some of the best films and documentaries we have identified on climate changes. I hope that we will be able to have some debates around these films and in particular a Bangladeshi film called « Are you listening! ». Please come to see these films and documentaries.
This event that we are now launching is the first of a series of three, that the French Embassy wants to carry out in Bangladesh this year: the second one will address the popular perception of climate changes, and we will ask the Government to react to the feelings, fears and expectations of the Bangladeshi people on these issues. We would also like to develop a reflection about architecture and climate at the end of the year. This will be our third event.
I would like to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh through his Foreign Secretary, Mr Shahidul Haque, and all the experts of your country, representatives of NGOs and private sector, who have accepted to be part of this event.
Our idea is to open a free debate. We want this event to be a contribution from France and Bangladesh to the reflection on climate change issues. We want this event to be a participative event.
Bangladesh is not only a country exposed to climate risk, it is a very innovative country, a very dynamic and creative country, which has learnt a lot from the suffering of the past disasters.
Over the years, Bangladesh has also been an effective and pro-active contributor to the reflection on climate changes and a very active member to the international negotiations on climate changes.
My country has very high expectations regarding Bangladeshi contribution to COP21. This event is a way to thank Bangladesh for its contribution to the global reflection and action regarding climate diplomacy.
I hope you will enjoy this week of events. I thank you for your attention.