NEW YORK: US President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande shared their plans for renewed collaboration on clean energy and climate action, in an op-ed for The Washington Post today.
Ahead of Hollande's visit to Washington this week, the joint article covers France and US' cooperation on key issues including Iran nuclear talks and poverty in Africa.
In The Washington Post op-ed the presidents highlight plans to increase clean energy trade and state a renewed ambition ahead of COP21 in Paris next year. They cite the UN's Climate Leaders Summit in September as an important opportunity to work towards tackling climate change and driving global low carbon growth.
They write: "Alongside a revitalized alliance on the world stage, we’re also working to deepen our bilateral economic relationship. Already, France is one of America’s top export markets, and the United States is the largest customer for French goods outside the European Union — trade that supports nearly a million jobs in our two countries. Our cooperation in science and education is illustrated by existing partnerships between our universities, top research laboratories and space agencies. But as entrepreneurial societies that cherish the spirit of invention and creativity, we need to do more to lead the world in innovation.
"The trade and investment partnership that we are pursuing between the European Union and the United States is a major opportunity to build on millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic already supported by U.S.-E.U. trade. Such an agreement would result in more trade, more jobs and more export opportunities, including for small businesses in both of our countries. It would also build a lasting foundation for our efforts to promote growth and the global economic recovery.
"This includes our leadership to combat climate change. Even as our two nations reduce our own carbon emissions, we can expand the clean energy partnerships that create jobs and move us toward low-carbon growth. We can do more to help developing countries shift to low-carbon energy as well, and deal with rising seas and more intense storms. As we work toward next year’s climate conference in Paris, we continue to urge all nations to join us in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions. The climate summit organized by the U.N. secretary general this September will give us the opportunity to reaffirm our ambitions for the climate conference in Paris.
"The challenges of our time cannot be wished away. The opportunities of our interconnected world will not simply fall into our laps. The future we seek, as always, must be earned. For more than two centuries, our two peoples have stood together for our mutual freedom. Now we are meeting our responsibilities not just to each other — but to a world that is more secure because our enduring alliance is being made new again."
Both France and the US are committed to strategies to increase renewables and climate ambitions in 2014. Last week the EU Parliament called for binding targets on emission reductions and a tougher binding renewable energy target under the EU’s 2030 climate policy, and in his annual State of the Union address last month, Obama identified climate change as a major challenge currently facing the nation and reemphasized his ambitious Climate Action Plan.
The Climate Leaders Summit takes place during Climate Week NYC 2014. More details about our events coming soon.
By Clare Saxon