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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Trop de blabla tue le climat


A lot of empty talk is killing the climate

Translated Thursday 21 May 2015, by Sonia Govindankutty

The appeals come thick and fast and they all sound the same. After François Hollande called for an ’ambitious, equitable and universal’ deal in Manila in February in view of the World Climate Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris in December, the president did it again on Saturday (May 9th) at Fort-de-France during an official visit to the Caribbean.

Fort de France (Martinique), special correspondent.

In Philippines, actress Marion Cotillard and a Philippine senator had given speeches full of policy statements but lacking concrete action points. During the Caribbean Climate Summit in Martinique which saw heads of state from the region participate, it was Ségolène Royal who did the honors for France. "Though it contributes but little to green house gas emissions, the Caribbean region falls under the zones that are seriously affected. People here are already subject to the effects of climate change that could (...) change precipitation patterns, groundwater salinity (...) a drop in agricultural productivity", said the Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. In fact, "the Caribbean region contributes only 0.2% to greenhouse gas emissions", underlined Serge Letchimy, President of the Regional Council while cautioning against "ecological suicide, ecocide". While the COP21 is aiming to conclude an agreement to reduce green house gas emissions so as to keep global temperatures from rising above 2 °C, except for waxing lyrical about the issue, no concrete action plan has been put forth.What happened at Fort-de-France? The participants called for an "understanding that international cooperation and collaboration are key to act against the causes and consequences of climate change" and to "agree upon financial, scientific and technical help". François Hollande, on his part, labored over the fact that "the poorest countries suffer most from cyclones and other climatic disruptions". "After my appeal at Manila, I would like to make a similar one here at Fort-de-France; it is a fundamental issue for mankind. Millions of people have already turned refugees due to climate related causes. The IPCC estimates the value of climate change related damages at 200 billion dollars of which 600 million dollars’ worth of destruction has happened in the Caribbean. Money is to be used for development and not just for repair. At Paris, the aim is to reach an overall agreement for each country which is binding and audited", he declared. He concluded his remarks on a proactive note, explaining that the most important aspect is the "creation of a Green Fund that could make available 100 billion dollars worth of funds every year." During the Copenhagen Summit in 2009, the industrialized nations had already made a pledge to contribute 100 billion dollars every year to countries that are developing. A promise that has not been kept.

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