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CLIMATE CHANGE

Hollande and Obama call for climate change deal

As French President François Hollande headed off to the United States on Monday he and Barack Obama made a joint call for other governments to join forces to seek an "ambitious" deal to stem climate change.

Hollande and Obama call for climate change deal
Environmental protesters from Oxfam wear masks depicting (L-R) Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Francois Hollande and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Photo: Oxfam/AFP

The presidents of France and the United States issued a joint call on Monday for other nations to join them in seeking an "ambitious" agreement to curb climate change.

Presidents Barack Obama and Francois Hollande, writing in an article in the Washington Post and Le Monde, called for support "in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "through concrete actions" at a climate conference in Paris in 2015.

Cooperation on a host of global issues – which include the Syrian crisis, Iran's nuclear program, and security in Africa – has resulted in France and the United States enjoying a "model" relationship, the presidents wrote.

The joint opinion piece comes as Hollande travels to the United States on Monday for a state visit.

"Rooted in a friendship stretching back more than two centuries, our deepening partnership offers a model for international cooperation," the presidents wrote.

"Transnational challenges cannot be met by any one nation alone. More nations must step forward and share the burden and costs of leadership."

Ties between the two countries have warmed considerably since chilling over France's refusal to support the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq under president George W. Bush.

"A decade ago, few would have imagined our countries working so closely together in so many ways. But in recent years our alliance has transformed," the presidents wrote.

The two countries "have been able to take our alliance to a new level because our interests and values are so closely aligned," they said.

Regarding climate change, even as the United States and France "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," they wrote.

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ENVIRONMENT

English-speaking churches in France launch climate campaign

English-speaking churches in France and across Europe have launched a massive environmental campaign ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next month.  

A chimney belches out smoke as a haze of pollution hangs over the city of Lyon in southeast France
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

The European Interfaith Climate Campaign is intended to promote ‘rapid, transformative change to avert climate catastrophe’. 

The American Church in Paris, Quakers of France, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris, the American International Church in London, and 0.6 Planet have teamed up to ‘work together to shed light on the systemic and structural issues blocking a sustainable future and climate justice for all people’, the group said in a statement.

Events taking place at the American Church in Paris include:

  • Climate Sunday-themed services on October 31st at 11am and 2pm
  • Children attending the church are creating “prayer boats” to go to COP26.
  • The founder of 0.6 Planet, Monica Bassett, will headline at a Zoom event on November 2nd between 7.30pm and 9pm to discuss her new life in a French ecovillage in the Dordogne, where she has drastically cut her consumption and carbon footprint.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris has a full programme as well:

  • Six Eco-Weeks Challenges and online conversations on Thursday evenings: from October 4th to November 12th.
  • Climate Sunday Service: in-person & live-streamed on October 17th, at 10:30am: “A Call for Change” (intergenerational focus)
  • Virtual Watch Party on Sunday, October 24th, at 11 am: “The Wisdom to Survive” documentary, followed by a on discussion: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wisdomtosurvive
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