Emmanuel Macron promised to promote international cooperation on climate change in his victory speech on Sunday, after being elected president of France.
[This article originally appeared on climatechangenews.com]
The centrist, pro-EU candidate won two thirds of the vote in a run-off against the far right’s Marine Le Pen.
In a short, sombre speech, he called for national unity and assured world leaders France would be a constructive partner on matters of global concern.
Macron said: “France will be active and mindful of peace, of the balance of power, of international cooperation, of respect for the commitments made on development and the fight against global warming.”
Following Donald Trump’s rise to power in the US and Britain’s vote to leave the EU, a win for Le Pen would have represented a hat-trick for nationalist populism. In contrast, Macron offered a vision of openness to the wider world.
Laurence Tubiana, a key architect of the Paris climate deal turned head of the European Climate Foundation, welcomed the result.
At home, Macron’s climate policies include phasing out coal power and doubling renewable capacity by 2022, and raising the carbon price to €100 a tonne by 2030.
He has also proposed using trade sanctions at an EU level against countries that do not respect the bloc’s environmental standards. That could put pressure on the Trump administration to conform with climate objectives and the UK to avoid weakening environmental protections during Brexit negotiations.
Somewhat provocatively, Macron invited American climate researchers threatened by Trump’s agenda to move to France. “We like innovation, we want innovative people,” he said in a video message:
To deliver on his mandate, Macron will need to secure a base in the parliamentary elections next month. Having founded his own party, En Marche! [Onwards!], a year ago, he has no incumbent lawmakers.
If his candidates cannot replicate Macron’s personal popularity, which was boosted by the stark contrast with Le Pen, it could lead to political gridlock.
An opinion poll published by OpinionWay-SLPV Analytics last week predicted En Marche! would win 249 to 286 seats in the National Assembly, short of the 289 needed for a majority.
Accordingly, climate advocates were cautious about interpreting the result.
“Macron’s victory should not be called a victory for climate in France yet,” said Lucile Dufour, from Climate Action Network France, at a briefing on the sidelines of interim climate talks in Bonn.
“Macron did not make the energy transition a key topic during his campaign. What we can say now is that Macron is unlikely to slow down the French environmental transition. However, if he is not strongly pushed by other countries and also by civil society, he will not accelerate the pace of the energy transition in France.”
Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy over the past two weeks as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn, Germany, for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks.
Representatives from around the world are meeting in Bonn this week to discuss progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement. A large part of this challenge involves rapidly scaling up the deployment of renewable energy, while curbing fossil fuel use – but little attention has been paid to the minerals that will be needed to build these technologies.
The future of climate diplomacy depends on the creation of extensive knowledge-action networks that promote collaborative, transdisciplinary, innovation and solutions-oriented research and help implement long-term strategies geared towards sustainability. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that the achievement of India’s ambitions climate goals is contingent on this strategy as well, and that it must set a clear agenda for COP23.
Dear Reader, this year’s UN Climate Change conference is about to kick off in Bonn, Germany. In its wake, natural and political hurricanes have shaken the planet and will affect the climate at COP23. There promises to be a packed agenda with negotiations ongoing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s objectives. COP23 will be crucial to pave the way for the facilitative dialogue due in 2018 to ensure that a further improvement of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) will be improved and overall ambition increased...