Published on 27 November 2017

SUSTAINABLE FINANCE

Laurence Tubiana: the One Planet Summit must fuse the Paris agreement with the real economy

“The One Planet Summit starts a new phase in the Paris Agreement”, insists Laurence Tubiana, president of the European Climate Foundation and French ambassador for climate negotiations during the COP 21 in 2015. This meeting is an occasion to fuse the agreement with the real economy, and integrate sectors not yet engaged, all while marking a mark on the finance world. 

Laurence Tubiana, current president of the European Climate Foundation, was the climate negotiator for France during COP 21.
The French Ministry of Ecology

According to Laurence Tubiana, the meeting on 12 December in Paris, inspired by Emmanuel Macron, is the first step in a new series of international meetings on climate change (1). These meetings will guide states until 2020, the year in which they will have to revisit their engagements concerning CO2 emissions to keep global warming temperatures under 2° Celsius.

The COP 23, which took place in Bonn (Germany) from the 6 to 17 November, “noted that the Paris Agreement was no longer at risk,” states Laurence Tubiana. Today, the United States is the only country to have not ratified the agreement. Decidedly optimistic, the French negotiator believes that there is not a “Trump effect” and that the American negotiators have been “constructive” and “courageous”. This leaves one to think that “once the time comes, the reintegration of the United States into the Paris Agreement will not be a problem”.

Guiding carbon-intensive sectors to a low-carbon economy

« At the One Planet Summit, it will not be about defending the Paris Agreement but putting the agreement in motion and integrating it within the real economy”, says Laurence Tubiana. According to the diplomat, it’s the only way to convince countries to revisit the climate contributions they have laid out from now until 2020. An objective all the more conceivable as “the initiatives from civil society in Paris (in 2015, editor’s note) have been structured and consolidated.”

But will it still be necessary for certain sectors, “that have passed under the radar of climate engagements,” to start to be held accountable? Laurence Tubiana cites the aeronautic, maritime, chemical, mill, cement, agricultural and trade sectors…all carbon-intensive sectors that have little to no engagements concerning their emissions and who "will be obliged to review their stances by implementing TCFD recommendations (Task Force on Climate Disclosure)”, finds Tubiana. The TCFD is a working group set up by the G20 Financial Stability Board to provide companies with guidelines on climate reporting.

To mobilize them, it is necessary to count on dynamic sectors, such as energy and finance. “The financial markets are going to start to penalise highly emitting activities”, confirms Laurence Tubiana. She is also pleased to see development banks align to a trajectory slowing global warming to 2°C, including the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Climate Change: in search of a leader

In actuality, it’s the finance sector that will accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy, according to the injunction made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and launched during COP 23: “the world should adopt a simple rule: if big infrastructure projects are not green, they should not be given the green light”.

The One Planet Summit will also be the occasion to specify who is responsible for the fight against climate change, a subject somewhat left by the wayside without a willing Barack Obama heading the United States and China seeing its CO2 emissions increasing once again. “There is a real search going on for a leader. France has a genuine climate plan that could serve as an example, but other countries are well situated, like Sweden or the United Kingdom, which is managing to phase out coal”, analyses Laurence Tubiana.

Ludovic Dupin, @LudovicDupin

(1) Major climate events from now until 2020: San Francisco Global Action Summit in September 2018, COP 24 in Poland December 2018, UN Climate Summit in New York September 2019, COP 25 in Brazil December 2019, COP 26 in Canada or Italy December 2020.


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