8 June 2017

France pledges to increase climate action commitments

France has vowed to go beyond its initial international commitments under the Paris Agreement, and will launch a new initiative to attract climate change expertise from across the globe.

According to government spokesman, Christophe Castaner, President Emmanuel Macron and Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot aim to ensure that France goes beyond its 2015 Paris climate Agreement.

Mr Castaner told reporters on Wednesday 7 June: "The aim of the President and that of Nicolas Hulot is to go beyond the targets which we had set ourselves within the framework of the Paris Agreement."

He went on to detail that an extensive list of policy actions would be issued within the next 15 days.

These will lay out climate changes for the next five years and show where the nation intends to exceed its previous commitments.

Mr Castaner also announced that the government of France will launch a website to attract experts in climate change in the U.S and in other nations across the world, in addition to businesses that specialise in climate-related innovations to France.

On Tuesday 6 June, President Macron and Minister Hulot met with a number of NGOs, businesses and researchers to hear proposals that could help the nation go beyond its current climate commitments.

A source from Macron’s office told Reuters: "There is momentum and France wants to seize it."

While the details of the future policy actions have not be publically released, the source revealed that initiatives on a carbon floor price, climate finance and increased development of renewable energy technologies to curb French dependence on nuclear power are likely to be among the proposals.

The news follows the announcement that the European Commission has approved the development of three French schemes that will support the addition of more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

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