Emmanuel Macron on the offensive against hydrocarbons. In front of some 140 heads of state and government gathered in Dubai for the start of COP28, the President of the Republic more or less urged developed countries to follow the example of France, “which has a plan” to get rid of its dependence on fossil fuels, the main sources of global warming. For the “Champion of the Earth” (title with which the UN honored him in 2018), it is “the priority of priorities”: “The countries with the highest emissions must enter into this logic of ecological planning and transparency. » And “if the G7 has a major responsibility”, “China, which is now the second historical emitting country”, must also take its part, said the head of state.
If it allows itself to give lessons, it is because France has “no reason to be ashamed of its record and the credibility of its action”, we defend in the president's entourage, recalling that ecological planning presented last September “allows us to determine precisely, year after year by sector, how we are going to reduce our dependence on fossils”. And the contested oil drilling project in Gironde, which has just received a favorable opinion following a public inquiry, is not a counter-example, we assure the Élysée. “It is in compliance with the legal framework adopted in 2017” which prohibits the extension of existing concessions beyond 2040.
On the occasion of this COP28, it is coal that France particularly wants to tackle. The fight is legitimate since it is the fossil fuel that emits the most carbon dioxide. “Existing power plants, which are largely concentrated in Asia today, will alone emit enough CO2 for us to exceed the 1.5°C target”, the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement, he said. moreover recalled the president. However, the battle seems easier to wage in France where coal represents barely 3% of the energy mix… while it generates 60% of electricity in China.
The continuation of investments in favor of coal is “a real absurdity”, insisted Emmanuel Macron. And if emerging countries “must get out of it”, those of the G7 must once again “set an example and commit to putting an end to it in their countries before the others, that is to say before 2030”. France has committed to closing its last coal-fired power station by 2027, the president said. He calls on the COP to focus its efforts on the private sector which today has “no disincentive to finance a coal plant compared to renewable or other. This is totally absurd! ".
Trade policy, fight against poverty, transformation of the international financial architecture, adaptation of agricultural models, defense of biodiversity... Stating his many priorities - and greatly exceeding the time allotted to him at the podium - Emmanuel Macron also announced up to 100 million euros in favor of the “loss and damage” fund intended for the most vulnerable countries, the implementation of which was recorded on Thursday, the first day of the climate conference.