France and Germany pledge to work together on climate change and green jobs

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21 February 2014

LONDON: Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande pledged to work together to tackle climate change and to support employment in green industries, at a joint press conference in Paris on February 19.

Francois Hollande, French President stated that the two countries are in "complete agreement to lead an ambitious energy transition”. The nations emphasized their commitment to sustainable power, stating that a platform to promote energy efficiency and incentivize sustainable energy storage would be established.

The statement of renewed cooperation on climate action comes just a week after new Eurostat figures for 2012 show the two nations are at the forefront of Europe’s own clean revolution. The figures show 19% of Europe’s renewable energy was developed in Germany and that France was responsible for producing 48% of the EU’s nuclear energy. However, France is keen to diversify from nuclear, with Wednesday’s announcement signalling strong interest in the renewable alternative.

Notably, France will host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, in Paris. The summit will be a key event in global action on climate change and the main platform for international negotiations on post 2020 strategy.

Earlier this month, the EU Parliament committed to a new goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels, as well as a binding target for 27% of the EU's energy consumption to come from renewables by 2030.

Libby Ferguson, States and Regions Director, The Climate Group, said: "The Climate Group welcomes the statement of bilateral cooperation between France and Germany to lead an ambitious energy transition from the heart of Europe. In the lead up to important decisions next month on Europe’s climate commitments, it is vital that the leaders of these important economies drive an ambitious European pledge. State and regional governments are key actors in the delivery of effective action on the ground. The States and Regions Alliance of The Climate Group is already demonstrating the benefits of cross-border collaboration on climate and energy policy, which will be vital to a successful energy transition in Europe."

By Alana Ryan

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