On Friday 4 March Ségolène Royal was in Brussels for the first Environment Council of 2016. The COP President called upon her counterparts to maintain the momentum achieved at the COP21 summit, both in their respective countries and at EU level.
The European Union played a crucial role in securing the ambitious targets agreed upon at COP21. In order to maintain this momentum and move forward with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Ségolène Royal called upon her European counterparts to focus their efforts on four major objectives :
The Minister invited all Member States to ensure that they are represented at the highest level at the signature ceremony to be held in New York on 22 April, and to move ahead immediately with the ratification process. The aim is to encourage as many countries as possible to take part in this high-profile event, a crucial milestone in the process of implementing the agreement reached at COP21.
With the Paris Climate Agreement, the international community has agreed upon an objective of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. For Ségolène Royal, the European Council Meeting to be held on 17-18 March, where COP21 features prominently on the agenda, is a golden opportunity to demonstrate Europe’s leadership on climate matters, and to clarify the timetable for implementing the Paris Agreement.
On 22 April in New York, the World Bank will convene a panel discussion on carbon pricing. France’s Environment Minister has already called for Europe to commit to carbon pricing, with several key priorities :
Ségolène Royal is also keen for Member States to take control of some of the 70 coalitions formed at the COP21 conference, steering these initiatives towards concrete results. These coalitions bring together national and regional governments, cities, businesses, NGOs and citizens, focusing on the 12 themes selected for the Action Day : geothermal energy, solar power, transport and more. A review will be conducted later this year, to check on the progress made since COP21.
The COP President also reiterated her determination for Europe to play a leading role in promoting environmentally-friendly development. She restated her commitment to supporting the expansion of access to renewable energy in Africa, because “taking action on climate justice is also about increasing global stability by reducing climate-induced migrations, thanks to more widespread development and greater food and health security.”