Intervention de l’Ambassadeur à la conférence européenne sur le changement climatique. [fa]

Une conférence sur le changement climatique s’est tenue le 8 novembre dans les locaux de la Délégation de l’Union européenne à Kaboul. En présence de hauts représentants du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, du Ministère de la réhabilitation rurale et du développement, de l’Agence nationale pour la protection de l’environnement et du Ministère de l’agriculture et de l’irrigation, ainsi que d’experts du PNUE et d’AREU, se sont tenus des débats sur les impacts du changement climatique en Afghanistan et les moyens d’y remédier.

Cette conférence s’inscrivait dans la préparation du Sommet de Paris sur le Climat COP 21, qui sera organisé du 30 novembre au 11 décembre. Ce sommet a pour objectif ambitieux de parvenir au premier accord universel et juridiquement contraignant sur le climat, afin de contenir la hausse des températures en dessous de deux degrés celsius d’ici la fin du siècle.

Reprenant les propos du Ministre des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international Laurent Fabius, l’Ambassadeur Jean-Michel Marlaud a rappelé le caractère crucial de cette échéance internationale pour l’avenir de la planète : « il n’y a pas de plan B ».


France will host in Paris from November 30th to December 11th 2015 an historic summit on climate change : the "COP 21". This 21st conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, will be historic for many reasons. In the first place, the ambition of its goal is unprecedented : finalizing and signing the first global agreement on climate change. Moreover, the number of participants to this summit will turn it into the most important one ever organized in Paris, a city though long-used to international events. 40 000 participants are expected, representing all the countries in the World, but also many international organizations, local authorities, private companies, and associations of the civil society. They symbolize the importance of prior consultations led throughout 2015 and the inclusivity of the future agreement.

I would like to expose to you why this COP 21 is vital and why multilateralism is important for the success of this summit.

° Climate change is causing tremendous damages to our current way of life and is eventually jeopardizing all human life on Earth. It is now widely accepted that emissions of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere linked to modern economic development are the main cause of climate change, which has already been observed in the last decades. At the actual trend, world temperatures could rise up to 6 degrees before the end of the 21st century. The level of the sea could rise up by 80 cm. The cost of damages linked to this phenomenon could reach up to 20% of the world GDP, because of massive destructions of inhabited lands near the sea, transfers of populations and desertification. => A rapid limitation of greenhouse gas emissions is now crucial.

° All countries in the world are concerned. If the perspective of higher seas seems at first glance of little direct importance for a landlocked country located in high mountains like Afghanistan, it is important to keep in minds that no place in the world would be spared. Global warming will have a direct impact on glaciers, thus drying down rivers. Moreover, it will change the direction of wet winds, leading most dry regions to become drier => Basically, even if Afghanistan participates only to 0,02% of the world total emissions of greenhouse gas, climate change could turn most of it into a desert.

° Short-term interests have led climate negotiations to a dangerous stalemate. Even though almost all experts are now unanimous on the trend and the causes of global warming, and that most of national public opinions have become conscious of the emergency, little has been done. The reasons are easy to understand :
- States’ interests are highly divergent. Each country hopes that efforts will be done by others.
- Developing countries estimate, with fair reasons, that they have the right to develop according to the same highly carbonated development model that developed countries used in the past.
- Assessing an adequate level of gas emissions to each country is a highly difficult and sensitive exercise.
=> Those difficulties explain why since the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988 and the first call to save world climate by the General Assembly of the United Nations the same year, progress has been slow.

° The summit of Paris, for the preparation of which many countries have used a lot of political capital, appears as the last chance to obtain a global agreement on climate which avoid this deadly status quo. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997, the last agreement containing commitments towards reduction of emissions of greenhouse gas is now obsolete, as its commitments were insufficient and solely focused on a handful of developed countries. Yet, all the attempts to obtain a wider and more ambitious agreement since then have failed, especially in Copenhagen in 2009. => As the French Minister of Foreign Affairs put it : "there’s no plan B".

° Facing those challenges, it was decided to adopt the most inclusive approach to the preparation of COP 21, which ended in one of the most important multilateral exercise led in the recent years :

- In order to reach a progressive agreement from many very different national positions, countries have gathered in group of interests which could promote their position. This has been especially important for smaller States which, alone, could have quickly been isolated. Afghanistan was thus one of the active members of the “G77+ China” group, composed of 133 developing countries and China, and of the “Least Developing Countries” group, which gathers 44 States with high level of economic vulnerability.

- the different groups of interests have worked in different formats to progressively build coalitions and defend their common interest in the meetings of the so-called “Durban Platform” in charge of drafting the future agreement. 196 delegations have thus met several times this year, in an unprecedented transparency effort, submitting to their peers their respective responsibilities and ambitions.

- In parallel, other negotiations were led to elaborate an ambitious "agenda of solutions" which gather initiatives from non-state actors in favor of the limitation of climate change. Those initiatives include transfers of knowledge, good practices or alternative funding in many areas such as the development of low-carbonated agriculture and industry or the development of sustainable cities. Several specific summits were thus held, as the Summit on Climate and Territories for local governments in Lyon in July or the Business and Climate Summit for actors of the private sector in Paris in May.

° As a result of this very broad process of consultation, the framework of the future world agreement on climate gives many reasons to hope that a consensus solution is possible. From the New-York Summit on Climate in September last year, to the Bonn negotiations last month, the main aspects of the world agreement already known prompt us to stay optimistic, even though a lot remains to be negotiated :

- the total of all the commitments made by 146 countries to mitigate their greenhouse gas is a good first step to reach the goal of limiting to 2 degrees the increase of world temperature before the end of the century. If those commitments are still insufficient, insuring only a trajectory slightly under a 3 degrees target, the future agreement should be flexible enough to plan future steps, including the possibility for countries to deepen their commitments.

- the importance of historical responsibility of developed countries has been recognized as well as the solidarity between them and developing countries, even though many details remain to be agreed. This solidarity means that developed countries should commit to help developing countries facing the costs of their adaptation to climate change and to transfer technologies to them.

- the financial commitments already made by 38 countries to the green fund, the recent pledges of global and regional multilateral financial institutions, as well as the first assessment of private expenses, gives good hope that the target of 100 billion USD a year dedicated to the fight against climate change could be attained by 2020. It is important to recall that 50% of the money placed in the Green Climate Fund, which has already received more than 10 billion USD for the 2015-2018 period, will be spent for adaptation projects, with half of this going to the most vulnerable countries like Afghanistan.

Even if a lot of progress has yet to be done, the international mobilization experienced throughout this year is a good sign that COP 21 has already change the level of awareness throughout the world. For the best of future generations, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, we all hope that in 3 weeks from now, the entire world will gather in Paris to turn this awareness into the first worldwide, legally binding, agreement on Climate Change.

Thanks a lot.

Publié le 20/12/2015

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