COP23 : Merkel and Macron in Bonn for giving a boost to the combat of climate


Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel expected to Bonn for COP23.
© LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP/ LUDOVIC MARIN

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Many political leaders, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, will be Wednesday in the city of Bonn to try for two days of giving a boost to the combat of climate, handicapped by the decision of Donald Trump to leave the Paris Agreement, officially supported by the rest of the world. According to the secretary-general of the UN Antonio Guterres, the German chancellor and the French president will on Wednesday afternoon to the kick-off of a series of speeches, more than 150 ministers and government officials to succeed each other in two days at the tribune of the 23rd conference of the UN on climate, COP23, meeting until Friday in the former federal capital. This political sequence takes place after over a week of technical discussions conducted by the negotiators of the different countries, on the implementation of the Paris agreement.

Adopted by the international community in December 2015, this text aims to curb global warming under 2 °C relative to pre-industrial period. “This is the time (to Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron) to show that the franco-German couple is a dynamic and ambitious” on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for global warming, and that”he will seize it in 2018,” says Armelle Le Comte, the NGO Oxfam France. The two countries “know they can play a vital role in the energy transition of Europe”, she says. In an open letter highlighting “the climate emergency”, 18 environmental NGOS call for the two leaders to make the ecological transition in Europe, their “priority”. “2016 was the warmest year ever recorded and 2017 is on track to beat the records in terms of disasters and extreme weather”, stressed-they.

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“Heavy task”

Angela Merkel, who had presided over the first COP in 1995 in Berlin as minister of the Environment, “has been for years a great champion of the climate”, says Jennifer Morgan, director of Greenpeace International. “We saw it this summer when the G20 became a G19 climate”, following the decision of Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement. But his credibility is now in play, according to the NGOS, which called on Germany to give up coal on pain of missing its climate goals. The ministers who will speak in Bonn “have a heavy task”, including progress on the question of the support promised by rich countries to poor countries, ” adds Mohamed Adow of the NGO Christian Aid. “This meeting has not progressed on several topics central to (…) Almost as if the negotiators were raw at the beach” by participating in this COP chaired by the Fiji islands.

On the american side, the under-secretary of State for political Affairs Thomas Shannon was to speak on Thursday. Because of”a family emergency”, it will eventually be replaced by Judith Garber, State secretary assistant for oceans and scientific affairs and international environmental, announced Tuesday evening by the State department. “Many negotiators are not happy with the way the United States behaved in some of the discussions,” stresses Alden Meyer, of the NGO scientist Union of Concerned Scientists. “And things like initiative fossil fuels-have not made things easier.” At a meeting organized by the White House on Monday evening in Bonn, the advisors of the administration Trump, and leaders of energy companies, the u.s. came to defend the fossil fuels, an evening hustled by defenders of green energy.

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