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11 January 2010 - General Assembly - Climate change : Statement by Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(Delivered in French)

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General,

I agree with the speech given by Spain on behalf of the European Union and would like to add a few words on the issue of climate change.

We knew that the negotiations in Copenhagen would be difficult and they were. I would like to express France’s thanks for the efforts of the Secretary-General and the Danish Prime Minister.

The Copenhagen Accord has allowed major progress to be made. It represents a major milestone and provides an outline for the future regime. We aim to convert this accord into a legally binding agreement in Mexico.

Our common objective must be to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2050 so that average temperatures do not increase by more than 2˚Celsius.

The United Nations Framework Convention provides the framework which must be used for defining the future international climate change regime after 2012.

Mr. Secretary-General,

France fully agrees with your current approach and would like all countries to respond to your appeal by supporting this accord and specifying their objectives.

Concerning the recording of the European Union’s objective in the annex, we will finalize our discussions with our European partners in order to provide an objective that is in line with the level of ambition expressed by Europe in Copenhagen.

We must spare no effort to reach an ambitious, global and legally binding agreement in Mexico at the 16th Conference of the Parties. In order to achieve this, we must reflect on ways to improve the decision-making process of the Convention and make progress with regard to the main decisions made in Copenhagen, in particular:

- The swift implementation, as a priority, of the "fast start" program, for the countries that are vulnerable to climate change, the least developed countries, the Small Island Developing States, and Africa; France would like at least 50% of the "fast start" funding to be devoted to Africa and 20% to the fight against deforestation;

- The fight against deforestation; with regard to this, France will soon organize a meeting in Paris, in cooperation with Norway, which will bring together the world’s main forestry stakeholders;

- The swift implementation of a high-level panel to study the new financing possibilities, in particular, the innovative financing mechanisms, which you announced.

- Accelerating the debate on governance, making it possible to combine the major challenges of sustainable development, in particular the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, and to ensure the implementation of the multilateral agreements in the environmental field. A Global Environmental Organization would be tasked with ensuring this coherence.

Mr. Secretary-General,

You can rest assured of the full support of France, which will, as it has until now, play its full role within the European Union in order to achieve a successful outcome in Mexico at the end of the year.

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