Date
18 December 2017
Tubiana refers to 'Fight with Cudgels', the painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, as a metaphor for the international negotiations over climate change. Photo: EJ Insight
Tubiana refers to 'Fight with Cudgels', the painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, as a metaphor for the international negotiations over climate change. Photo: EJ Insight

Paris 2015 climate change summit too vital to fail: Tubiana

Nations should stop blaming each other for climate change and instead join forces to deal with global warming, French climate negotiator Laurence Tubiana said.

“The commitments made by countries so far are far from sufficient to keep the global temperature rise below the 2-degree Celsius by 2050,” Tubiana told EJ Insight in an interview in Paris ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that began on Monday.

Leaders from over 190 countries are now gathered in Lima, Peru, to hammer out a new global commitment before key talks in Paris next year.

If a deal is not signed off in Paris next year, we could see global temperature rise 5 to 6 degree Celsius by 2050, Tubiana warned.

According to some observers, leaders may reach agreement in Lima on some relatively easy issues and leave the conundrums to the negotiations in Paris in 2015. There are hopes that a bust-up of the kind that was seen during a 2009 summit in Copenhagen will not be repeated.

Failure to meet the 2-degree target could lead to further droughts, rising seas and heat waves. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that such climate change could have devastating effects on economies, agriculture and human health, particularly in developing countries.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande warned at the G20 summit in Brisbane last month that failure to address global warming “could lead to catastrophe, if not war”. He called on G20 countries to act ahead of the climate change conference in Paris next year.

The French government has being actively conducting “climate diplomacy” in recent years through its diplomatic network, which is known to be the third largest such network in the world. According to foreign ministry officials in Paris, French diplomats have had frequent talks over climate change issues with authorities of their resident countries to make them move forward.

Tubiana noted that the China-US climate change agreement represents a good example of pushing forward the international negotiations. She expects India to announce a target within the first half of 2015, and Japan in the first quarter. But “we should put a question mark for Australia”, she said.

Nicolas Hulot, the French president’s special envoy on climate change, told EJ Insight during another interview in Paris last week that the EU could be willing to make further commitments, on the basis of its target to cut carbon emissions in the area by 40 percent by 2030, if the Paris summit yields a successful result.

Besides the goal to formulate a legally binding and universal agreement next year in Paris, both Tubiana and Hulot stressed public engagement for the campaign which will benefit all human beings.

Tubiana is urging private enterprises, social organizations and individuals to think about solutions from their own perspectives and take action.

Hulot said he attaches great importance to the use of social networks and digital media as they can better help persuade people to take action, compared to traditional media.

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MY/JP/RC

EJ Insight reporter

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