Emmanuel Macron: France is a nation of ‘prosecutors’
Less than a week after President Joe Biden announced the return of the United States to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, his Special Climate Envoy John Kerry will join China’s Deputy Prime Minister Han Zheng, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leaders at the Climate Adaptation Summit. Ahead of the meeting, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter Radio that France is not happy with the lessons learned from the Trump administration’s era.
He said: “It will no longer be the same as before, because … perhaps indirectly linked to Trump, the EU has gained self-confidence, the EU has grown, the EU came out of its naïveté.
“The Europe that is there now is not the same as it was four years ago.”
He added the EU “could have its own sovereignty”.
The anxiety over the possibility powers will shift back between the US and China when it comes to climate geopolitics is palpable among Brussels officials.
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One senior EU official told Politico last week: “Kerry will go around [to] everyone, [saying] we will give you money to buy American clean technology.
“Everyone is infatuated with John Kerry now but actually the Europeans should win the Nobel prize.”
Mr Biden, who took office on January 20, quickly issued executive orders cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline that would import tar sands oil from Canada and rejoining the 2015 Paris climate Agreement.
Both of those moves reversed former President Donald Trump’s policies. During his four years in office, Mr Trump rolled back about 100 regulations on climate and the environment as he pursued a policy of “energy dominance” to maximise output and exports of oil, gas and coal.
John Kerry said a recent pledge by China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, was “not good enough.”
In September, Chinese President Xi set a goal for his country to become carbon neutral by 2060, 10 years after the 2050 time frame favoured by most countries, while also pledging a more ambitious short-term goal on emissions.
As secretary of state under former President Barack Obama in 2015, Kerry helped bring China to the table at the UN climate conference in Paris.
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Now, the Biden administration has begun to apply diplomatic pressure on countries to work harder on climate, said Kerry.
He talked on Friday with foreign ministers in Europe, who told him they had high expectations for the Biden administration after a lack of action on climate in the Trump years.
“‘Yeah, we realise we come back with humility,'” Mr Kerry said he told the ministers, adding that the majority of US states and more than 1,000 mayors continued to move ahead on climate during the Trump years.
The Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands, will aim to set out practical solutions and plans for dealing with climate change in the period until 2030.
Ahead of the summit, more than 3,000 scientists from across the globe pressed leaders to better protect people from the fall out of global warming.
“Our fast-warming world is already experiencing major disruptions from more intense droughts, fires, heatwaves, floods, destructive tropical cyclones and other extreme events”, the scientists, including five Nobel laureates, said in a statement.
“Unless we step up and adapt now, the results will be increasing poverty, water shortages, agricultural losses and soaring levels of migration with an enormous toll on human life.”
Climate change could depress global food production by up to 30 percent, while rising seas and greater storms could force hundreds of millions in coastal cities out of their homes, summit organiser the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) said.
“There is no vaccine for climate change”, GCA chair and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters on the eve of the event.
“It is happening much, much faster than we think, causing cascading risks and impact. Building resilience to climate change is not nice to have, it is a must-have.”
No binding commitments will be made at the summit, but leaders will try to set an action agenda, charting plans and proposals to create a climate-resilient planet by the end of the decade.
Britain said it plans to team up with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, Saint Lucia and the Netherlands in an initiative that could include early warning systems for storms and investments in flood drainage and in drought-resistant crops.
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