COP 21 : “We must act now!”

CLIMATE/Prince Albert II is hoping to sign a binding agreement in Paris. He explains the positions he is going to take at the Climate Change Conference.


Paris will not give in to terrorists. “The great international Climate Change Conference event (is) not only going ahead, it is also going to be a time of hope and solidarity,” said President François Hollande at the congress in Versailles, three days after the deadly attacks of 13 November. The COP21(1) climate get-together, which is to start on 30 November, will bring together until 11 December delegations from 195 countries and nearly 120 heads of state, from Obama to Putin.


“Reasonably optimistic”

Among them, the Monegasque head of state remains “reasonably optimistic” about the outcome of this great climate change event. “We cannot give predictions but I have noted encouraging signs. The commitment of large countries, such as China recently, which have finally understood the stakes, is important. There are still some points of dispute on the amounts to commit and the contributions of developed and developing countries, but the first feedback is positive,” Albert II believes. Awareness is now global according to the ruler of Monaco. “Beforehand, these meetings were the domain of environment ministers, with heads of state coming to sign only at the end of session. Global warming had no urgency or paramountcy on the international agenda.” Now it is a question of warding off the ‘Copenhagen syndrome’. “On the eve of this COP 21, there is a stronger mobilisation than before. No one wants to stay with the 2009 Copenhagen failure. Everyone is aware that a decision for an agreement that is as binding as possible must be taken. If we want to prepare for the future and limit the average rise in temperature on the earth’s surface to 2 degrees, now is the time to act. The primary goal has to be a global agreement, legally binding and applicable from 2020, to limit greenhouse gas emissions.” Not an easy goal to achieve, as the commitments of each state which were announced ahead of COP do not yet allow this limitation goal to be achieved.


A Monegasque green fund

For its part, Monaco aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. For COP21 Albert II states, “I have set my government the goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. Monaco must demonstrate exemplariness and ambitious goals.” At the start of his reign in 2006, Monaco’s head of state ratified the Kyoto protocol, thus enabling Monaco’s greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 13.2% in 2012. Now, Monaco is going to reach a milestone, “We will create a national green fund, with 5 million euro paid in during 2016 to build up in preparation for developing large collective facilities for generation of renewable energy.” “Money is indeed the crux. In Paris, financing the fight against global warming will be paramount. Indeed it is absolutely necessary that in Paris we keep the promise made in Copenhagen to mobilise 100 billion dollars a year (public and private) starting from 2020 to help developing countries to adapt,” Nicolas Hulot, France’s special envoy for the preservation of the planet, emphasises left, right and centre. “That is only 0.2% of the OECD countries’GDP but it will trigger a 6% climate investment GDP in developing countries. It is the price of solidarity, and of a viable future for us all,” the environmentalist told L’Obs in October. “The developed countries committed to mobilise 100 billion dollars a year to finance sustainable development. These measures need to be confirmed or even increased,” Monaco’s head of state emphasises too. But how? “It is up to states to create mechanisms to raise the levels of commitments in line with changes in circumstances. And if that does not suffice, we will need to appeal to civil society and the private sector. When I hear that Google wants to invest millions or even billions in teleportation research, I think that money would be better used to fight climate change. Teleportation is great in science fiction TV series but it is not a vital need of our times,” challenges Albert II.

_Milena Radoman

(1) COP 21 is the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

ROLE/One State, one vote

Monaco wants to play a role in finding a binding global agreement at COP21. “With the one State, one vote rule in force in international organisations, every country’s vote is important,” says Albert II. We are part of a group of EIG (Environmental Integrity Group) countries, along with Mexico, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and South Korea.” Its goal is to reconcile developed countries’and developing countries’points of view.

écrit par Milena