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Paris Climate Conference

The commitments to the planet made during COP21 went into effect on 4 November 2016. The Paris Agreement was certainly long-awaited, and France pulled out all the stops to ensure the success of the Paris Climate Conference. Never before had an issue brought together so many Heads of State and Government or involved so many national contributions. The Paris Agreement is historic and should help limit the increase in temperatures to 2 degrees overall and 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, with a clause introduced to review these commitments. France decided to take things even further by committing to revising its commitments by 2020 at the latest and will offer those countries that wish to follow its example the opportunity to form a coalition to set a carbon price that will help redirect investment.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted during the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Ratified by 196 parties, it recognised the existence of global warming caused by human activity.

The Conference of the Parties (COP), the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC, meets yearly to take decisions that will make the objectives for the climate achievable. Every year, the Conference is organised (based on a system of geographic rotation) in one of the countries in the five regional groups of the United Nations: Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) and Africa.

The CMP serves as the meeting of the States Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. It ensures that the Protocol is implemented and promotes its effectiveness. Adopted in 1997 at the COP3 in Kyoto (Japan), this protocol marked a turning point: for the first time, 37 developed or transition countries committed to binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

During the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, the 195 countries that were represented postponed signing a global agreement until 2015. In September 2012, the President of the Republic, François Hollande, announced his intention to host the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in 2015. France was officially appointed host country during COP19 in Warsaw in 2013.
"Following human rights, we are going to establish rights of Humanity, that is to say the right of everyone on Earth to live in a world whose future is not compromised by the lack of responsibility in the present."
François Hollande
26 November 2014

A universal agreement

12 December 2015 will go down in history as a key date for humanity. The international climate agreement was approved at the end of the COP21.
Having held its breath for the 12 days of intense negotiation between the 196 parties (195 States plus the European Union) gathered at the Paris Conference, the planet can now breathe again. A balanced agreement was signed with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It confirms the core aim of limiting the increase in the average temperature to 2 degrees and endeavouring to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees in order to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the consequences of climate change. France played a major role in this historic event, pulling out all the stops to ensure the success of the Paris Climate Conference.
"It is vital that the agreement be balanced […]: differentiated, fair, sustainable, dynamic, […] and legally binding."
Laurent Fabius, President of the Paris Climate Conference
12 December 2015

As custodian of the mandate entrusted by the 150 Heads of State on 30 November at the opening of the Conference, France worked tirelessly to ensure the agreement was a success and to uphold the objective of 2 degrees. The text that was prepared and submitted to the parties on the morning of Saturday 12 December by the President of the COP21, Laurent Fabius, is both "ambitious and realistic".
A new era in global cooperation has begun. "Historic" is the word most commonly used to describe the Paris Agreement. It is the first universal agreement in the history of climate negotiations. "We had been attempting to reach this agreement [...] for over 40 years", noted François Hollande, President of the Republic.
  • It recognises the concept of climate justice.
  • It takes into account the differentiated responsibilities of the countries concerned in every respect, along with their respective capacities in the light of national circumstances.
  • It confirms the core aim of limiting the increase in the average temperature to well below 2 degrees and endeavouring to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees, which would help significantly reduce the risks and impacts associated with climate change.
  • It holds all parties responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and requires them to submit their national contributions; these may be revised every five years, but can only be made more ambitious.
  • In the context of greater transparency, a collective statement of the progress made will be produced every five years to encourage a collective reaction if insufficient effort is made to achieve the set objectives.
  • "It plans for the 100 billion dollars a year set aside by 2020 to serve as a lower limit for the years to follow and for a new quantified objective to be set by 2025 at the latest", Laurent Fabius explained. It therefore "provides the most vulnerable of countries and developing countries with the resources they have been promised", François Hollande added. The President of COP21 received the OECD's report on projections of climate finance in October 2016. Together with Michel Sapin,  Ségolène Royal welcomed the publication of the developed countries' road map for mobilizing 100 billion dollars of climate finance per year to developing countries by 2020.


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The implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement

On 9 March 2016, Ségolène Royal presented a Communication on the implementation of the Paris Agreement at the Council of Ministers. The agreement will come into effect 30 days after at least 55 of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, accounting for at least 55% of all greenhouse gas emissions, have submitted ratification instruments. France intended to be among the first States to complete its internal ratification procedures concerning the Paris Agreement (175 parties signed the agreement on 22 April 2016).

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The French President signed the act authorizing the ratification of the Paris Agreement on 15 June 2016
France, which had a duty to set an example, accelerated this procedure; both houses approved the agreement virtually unanimously, the National Assembly on 17 May and the Senate on 8 June. 


The heads of delegation of the Parties to the Climate Convention met for the first time since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, for a formal negotiation session in Bonn from 16 to 26 May 2016. The meeting laid the groundwork for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Ségolène Royal introduced the negotiators' work: «You are now more than negotiators: I call on you to be co-builders and facilitators. It's now about building on the ambitious, balanced, fair compromises reached last December, in order to strengthen action on the ground. The foundations have been laid; it's now up to us to build our common home» (communiqué of 17 May 2016).

COP21 and its implementation six months on

On 10 June, the European Commission in Brussels presented a proposal for the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. Ségolène Royal, President of COP21, welcomed this decision (read the communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs). On 4 October 2016, the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to allow the EU ratification of the agreement.

4 November 2016 is a historic day: it marks the climate agreement's entry into force
Coming less than a year after the adoption of the agreement on December 12, 2015, and before COP22 gets under way in Marrakech, it reflects the international community's determination to save the planet from the effects of climate disruption.

To date, the Paris Agreement has been ratified by 96 pays and the European Union, which together represent 69.21% of total greenhouse gas emissions. France applauds all the countries that have ratified it, particularly those that have done so in the past few days, such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Indonesia. We must remain mobilized and quickly arrive at the point of universal participation. France therefore invites all countries that have not yet done so to proceed promptly with ratification.

It is now time for implementation; that is the challenge of the Marrakech COP. France supports the Moroccan presidency. It will continue to rally its entire diplomatic network and instruments of cooperation to guarantee the implementation of the Paris agreement. Read the communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris Agreement - COP22 opening ceremony: Speech by Ségolène Royal (Marrakesh, 7 November 2016)

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the Paris Climate change Conference

The major world leaders confirmed their attendance for the opening of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference on 30 November, including Barack Obama from the United States, Xi Jinping from China, Narendra Modi from India and Vladimir Putin from Russia (see exceptional measures concerning road use). Over 150 Heads of State and Government attended the conference at Le Bourget.

Major speeches and statements:

November 30, 2015


December 1, 2015

December 3, 2015

 December 5, 2015

  • Speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at the conclusion of the Action Day

 December 7, 2015

 December 8, 2015

December 9, 2015

  • Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, President of the Paris Climate Conference - Meeting of the Paris Committee - 3.00 p.m.

December 10, 2015

  • Statement by M. Laurent Fabius with M. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary general of the United Nations

December 12, 2015

  • Speech by M.Laurent Fabius (plenary session for the submission of the final draft text)
  • Closing speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

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The commitments of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and the actions announced by Ségolène Royal

Major steps toward an agreement at Paris 2015

The international community agreed on the first items in the text of the agreement in December 2014, during the COP20 conference in Lima.

The States were invited to submit their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the objective of limiting the average increase in global temperature to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.

All of the work to draw up the agreement was carried out by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). The co-chairs of this working group played a key role in the success of the process, working closely with the UNFCCC Secretariat and with the country assuming the role of President of the Conference. They sought to take into account the views of all the parties, which were placed on equal terms.

Lastly, France chose to make this Conference exemplary in terms of environmental impact and implemented an action plan to minimise the impact of the meeting in terms of consumption of natural resources (water, waste, energy) and greenhouse gas emissions.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Minister Ségolène Royal
"There is no time to lose, action is needed quickly and it is this generation's responsibility to prepare a different world for the generations to come."
Manuel Valls
4 February 2015

Countdown to COP21

  • On 6 November 2015, Laurent Fabius presented the main goals of the informal ministerial meeting - the “pre-COP” - which he chaired together with Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Peruvian Minister of Environment and COP20 President. This “pre-COP” meeting took place in Paris from November 8 to 10 and brought together around 70 countries, including almost 60 at the ministerial level. Four major items were included on the agenda: the ambitions of the agreement, its fairness, the concrete actions to be undertaken before 2020 and the funding required after 2020. With three weeks left until the opening of the Paris conference, this meeting was a key step toward reaching a compromise that will ensure the adoption of a universal, ambitious and legally binding agreement in December.
  • The Climate Convention Secretariat presented on 30 October 2015 a Synthesis Report on the effect of the national contributions [INDCs] published before 1 October by 146 countries ahead of the Paris conference. "The report shows that the national contributions enable us to change the situation and that they keep us from the worst-case scenario - i.e. warming of 4ºC to 5ºC or more. It confirms that it's possible to achieve a trajectory where warming is kept below 1.5ºC or 2ºC by the end of the century, but this means additional efforts over time. Some estimates put us on a trajectory of a 2.7º-3ºC increase by the end of the century. This confirms the importance of achieving an agreement at COP21 in Paris which sets the rules enabling us periodically to revise national contributions upwards", Laurent Fabius said.
  • With less than 100 days to go before the Conference, the Head of State, François Hollande, chaired the event “France commits to climate action. Go COP21!” on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at the Élysée Palace. Laurent Fabius, President of COP21, made a speech during this event and answered questions from the young participants. Nearly 400 people were invited to the official launch of COP21.


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