Climate, Macron: "we are losing the battle"

Climate, Macron: "we are losing the battle"

Editorial Staff
Two years on from the historic agreement signed at COP21, world leaders gathered in Paris to take stock of the fight against climate change. The French President warned: "We're not moving quickly enough. We all need to act," with particular reference to Trump

The world is "losing the battle" on climate change. Emmanuel Macron warned everyone at the "One Planet Summit” hosted in Paris, addressing an audience of world leaders and speaking indirectly to Donald Trump. Two years to the day since the historic Paris Agreement was signed at the COP21 conference, Macron highlighted what has been done and, especially, what still remains to be done. "We’re not moving quickly enough - he said - [and] we all need to act [because] we all share the same responsibility." The French President reviewed the efforts made to combat global warming, focusing particularly on the need to seek the required financing for the "battle". Macron called for much greater mobilization and for a dramatic U-turn in production methods, in a bid to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The target, set in December 2015, seems to be moving further out of reach, particularly after the Trump's Administration's sensational disengagement from the Paris Agreement. In an interview with CBS News, Macron sent this message to the American President: "I'm not ready to renegotiate but I'm ready to welcome him if he decides to come back. I'm pretty sure that my friend President Trump will change his mind in the coming months or years." Among the four thousand or so participants, including about a thousand journalists, the French President managed to convene 50 world leaders (from the Fiji to the Marshall islands, from Bangladesh to Egypt, also including Hungary, Morocco, Mali, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Tunisia) and ministers representing over 130 countries. Other distinguished participants were World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, alongside two of his predecessors (Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan).

Reasons for the "One Planet Summit"

The idea of organizing this event came about in late July 2017, at the end of the G20 summit, where every country except the United States recognized the "irreversible nature" of the Paris Agreement. And now, a few weeks after the last climate conference–the COP23 held in Bonn–ended with few significant results, the "One Planet Summit" is seeking to speed up the pace. The aim is to take stock of the efforts to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and, especially, to seek funds for pro-climate actions. The world’s most at-risk and vulnerable countries are hoping that the richest nations will put their hands in their pockets, particularly through development assistance and financing to implement the adaptation measures for climate change. The USD 100 billion target promised by developed countries is still far from being attained. An initial step has already been taken by the European Union, which aims to be the "global center of gravity" for green assets and investments and will be presenting an "Action Plan on Sustainable Finance" in three months' time. This is one of the initiatives announced by the European Commission at the summit. And in a bid to make Europe a leading global player in this respect, a high-level conference will be organized in Brussels on March 22, 2018, on the "role of financial services in the transition towards a sustainable economy", as announced by Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.

World Bank to stop financing oil and gas after 2019

During the One Planet Summit, the World Bank announced that, as from 2019, it will no longer finance oil and gas exploration and extraction projects in order to "align its support to countries to meet their Paris goals" on climate change. However, in "exceptional circumstances", the World Bank may consider financing projects in the gas sector "in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access", and provided the projects are in line with the international commitments on climate signed in 2015. In 2016, the World Bank allocated approximately USD 1.6 billion to oil and gas projects, which accounts for less than 5 percent of the total financing provided by the bank during the year. Moreover, starting next year, the organization will publish a yearly report on greenhouse gas emissions from the projects it finances in the energy sector.