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French President Hollande

January 28, 2015

When French President Francois Hollande comes to visit the Philippines on February 26-27, he will be seeking an ally in the effort to mobilize the nations to take more decisive action to stop climate change which has caused increasingly destructive natural calamities over the years.

France will be hosting the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference set for November 30-December 11 in Paris. In previous conferences, there have been tremendous resistance by some nations to proposals for them to reduce their carbon emissions, which have been established as the principal cause of climate change and extreme weather.

Most of the emissions come from the world’s industrial and fast-industrializing countries, but it is the rest of the world, especially the island nations, which stand to suffer most, as rising planet temperatures melt glaciers and cause ocean levels to rise, and storms become more powerful and deadlier. The resistance to effective action is to due to the fact that the biggest polluting nations will have to rein in their industrial activities or develop technologies – at considerable cost – to cut down their carbon emissions. There are also those who continue to doubt the reality of climate change.

“It is necessary to send a message to skeptics who deride climate change that there is a reality behind climate change, a history of families, of events,“ said Nicholas Hulot, President Hollande’s “special envoy for the protection of the planet,” who was in the Philippines to prepare for the presidential visit. That danger was seen by the world in all its stark reality when monster typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippines in 2013.

France itself has drawn up a national plan to cut its fossil fuel consumption by half by the year 2050. Its goal is that at the end of the Paris conference, similar commitments will be made by all other nations and an agreement with concrete target figures will be reached.

Our own Sen. Loren Legarda, who met with Hollande’s special envoy Hulot, said the French president may be accompanied in his visit by known activists for action against climate change, including former United States Vice President Al Gore who was the first major international figure to raise warning signals. There may be other famous personalities who will come with Hollande — Hollywood stars, national leaders, UN officials, and Nobel laureates.

They will all be adding their voices to the growing call for decisive international action. And they will be doing it in what has come to be known worldwide as “ground zero” in climate change destruction – the Philippines.

Source: Tempo