In line with his constant commitment to the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change, the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul BIYA, took part in the “One Planet Summit” in Paris on 12 December 2017. Co-chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the summit held at the Seine Musicales – Seguin Island. It brought together some 60 Heads of State and Government, representatives of international finance and major global companies. Convened two years after COP21, which culminated in the signing of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, “One Planet Summit” aimed to rekindle the flame of countries’ commitment to fight climate change and to promote the mobilisation of funding for climate actions.
A busy day for the Head of State
The day began with a lunch at the Elysée Palace offered by President Emmanuel Macron to the Heads of State, Government and delegation. President Paul BIYA, like the other guests, was welcomed at the Elysée Palace by his host, then he went to greet the French First Lady before being led into the lunch room. An opportunity for reunion and in-depth exchanges between world leaders. After the meal, the Heads of State, Government and Delegation left by boat to Seguin Island.
The plenary session of the summit opened with their arrival at the Seine Musicale. It followed panel discussions organised in the morning. This second part was marked by two sequences: speeches by the three co-chairs and again panel discussions during which the speakers explained concretely what must be done to finance the actions on the climate, according to the wish expressed by the French Head of State in his intervention.
Indeed, President Macron has indicated that we must stop talking and act. The French President thanked the Heads of State and Government who travelled to Paris. Firm commitments must be made to meet the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, he said. The UN Secretary General noted the important role of international finance and business. He recalled the responsibility of developed countries in global warming and called for increased funding for developing countries. The President of the World Bank revealed financial commitments in programmes for certain regions and countries.
Seated in the front row, the President of the Republic followed the various speakers with keen attention. The Head of State also followed with the same concentration the long exchanges at the round tables, exchanges that lasted more than five hours. Through this remarkable presence, President Paul BIYA has once again shown his interest in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This Agreement is strongly supported by Cameroon. Our country was thus among the first countries to ratify it.
The twelve commitments of the Paris Summit
It is in an optimistic tone for the future of the planet that the French Head of State closed the works of the Paris Summit, not without announcing the creation of the “One Planet Coalition” bringing together all the actors of the fight against climate change. He announced the twelve commitments made at this Summit and the sources of funding. It involves: zero pollution transport; expansion of carbon pricing in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement; coalition of businesses and market authorities working to better address climate risks; public development banks commit to align their financing with the Paris Agreement; launch of the one planet sovereign wealth fund working group; the biggest investors working for the climate; address extreme events in Island States; protect land and water against climate impact disruption; mobilise young people to work for the planet; alliance of cities and regions for low-carbon public procurement and more accessible climate finance; move towards a zero-emission world; and phase out energy sources of the past.
These commitments will be developed in an online platform where each State, each company or each actor of the “One Planet Coalition” will be able to present its own commitments. The idea of an annual evaluation was proposed by the French Head of State.