Statement by the Ambassador H.E Sophie Aubert
Climate Change is not a Fatality! - Statement by the Ambassador H.E Sophie Aubert
HE Sophie Aubert,
Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
16 10 2016, Residence of France
Honourable Secretary for Environment and Forests, dear colleagues, and dear guests,
I am pleased and honoured to open this new workshop on climate change, here at the French Residence.
For the last two years, climate negotiations have been a huge priority of our diplomatic action, here and everywhere in the world.
In Dacca, we have been part of many initiatives related to climate change and climate negotiations, and we have also organized a series of workshops on this issue, thanks to your support and cooperation.
We were at the same place in July last year on the occasion of the visit of our Ambassador at large for Climate change, Mr Zeller.
We were also here in February this year after the success of the Paris COP.
Now just a few weeks before COP22, in Marrakesh, and I thank the Chargé d’affaires of Morocco for his presence, it appeared to us that it was a good time to take stock of what was going on.
As you know, France took over the COP21 Presidency with one goal: leading the international community to commit itself to launching the transition towards a law carbon economy, in order to avoid an increase of climate temperature which would become a real threat for our environment and therefore for ourselves.
In Paris last December 2015, we reached our goal!
After COP21, France decided to put all efforts into following up the process towards the adoption of the Paris Agreement and its ratification:
• At the United Nations for the International Earth Day 22 April 2016, 175 countries signed the Agreement.
• Last 5 October, 75 states representing almost 59% of the global greenhouse gas emissions had ratified the Agreement.
The double target of 55 ratifications accounting for at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions was achieved.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force next 4 November 2016.
I remember that in 2014, at our Ambassador’s Conference, French President of the Republic François Hollande was relating how proud he was that his peers had accepted France’s candidacy to organize the 21st International Conference of Parties for Climate Change…
And ironically he added that in fact, France was the only candidate…
At that time, the world was considering the success of the climate negotiations as an unachievable goal and a nightmare for whoever would accept the challenge, remembering the failure of Copenhagen.
Our diplomacy has sustained this challenge and we are very proud of our success.
Now what’s next, less than one month before COP22 in Marrakesh? In Marrakesh, we will have to turn this success into action.
The fact that climate is changing at a pace that could be very soon out of control because of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions is not only a concept or a theory.
We can observe the phenomenon. We are living this change every day, we can even explain it. Today, nobody would dare denying it.
That’s why, in my country, we considered that someone had to shake the global community: because even being aware of what was happening to our environment, nobody wanted to take the initiative.
We must act now in order to break this vicious circle and preserve a sustainable environment for the future generations…
The industrial revolution is over and pointing out the developed countries for their responsibility whereas these countries didn’t know about the consequences of their action is not a solution.
Upholding one’s responsibility today and facing the present time by implementing altogether a global low carbon economy in order to expand the model of a circular economy is the solution.
Today, we wanted to hold this workshop in order to show off the solutions implemented by France, Bangladesh, India and the Netherlands, at the public and private levels, in order to handle the challenge.
I am honoured by the presence of Honorable Secretary in Charge, Mr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, just coming back from Seoul where he was for the Green climate fund, to explain how he sees COP22 and its challenges from a Bangladeshi point of view.
I am also very pleased that my good friend Atiq Rahman has accepted again to be present today. Also Dr Saiful Islam, just coming back from Germany for a Helix meeting, the European initiative to support scientif research all over the world, will explain to us what 1,5°C increase of the global temperature means for Bangladesh, from a scientific point of view.
My colleagues from the Indian High commission and the Netherlands Embassy have accepted to present the initiative their respective countries are leading to fight climate change.
We are also very thankful to IDCOL CEO Mr Malik, who has accepted to give us a view of its action here, as the private sector has an immense role to play towards a sustainable development of our environment.
What we will hear today is the evidence that the entire global society is moving forward at all levels (States, business sector, civil society…) in order to change the world.
I would like to insist on this point: climate change is not only the States’ concern. It is the concern of all of us because, at different levels, we are all greenhouse gas emitters.
The fact is that the only way to push towards a circular law carbon economy is to make it more and more expensive for all, to pollute our world.
Carbon pricing is one solution, among others.
Commitment of the States to shaping a new legal framework in order to engage all the actors constructively, through various incentives and first of all financial incentives, is a top priority so that we change our models.
This is what France did in 2015 through the new law for energy transition and green growth. This law sets up a comprehensive action-oriented strategic framework in order to settle a low carbon economic model.
This law comes along with another law, the law for restoration of biodiversity, nature and countryside, as it is essential to protect biodiversity whereas we can observe that every day, many species are threatened to disappear, or have already disappeared from our environment.
COP22 will have to turn the Paris agreement into an action plan and create the dynamic for the implementation of all these initiatives.
France and Morocco have worked hard together for the success of this Conference, the first one after the Paris Agreement. We are all very optimistic that this momentum will bring the world to uphold its responsibilities.
To conclude, I would like to insist on the fact that we really hope that this workshop will be the opportunity for an open and informal discussion, after the presentations, as we are lucky to have all of you here today.
Now I thank you for your attention and I would like to give the floor to Mr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary in charge, at the Ministry for Environment and Forests./.