France tells COP21 negotiators to speed up

France's top diplomat Laurent Fabius, presiding over 195-nation talks for a UN climate pact, urged negotiators Wednesday to pick up the pace so as to finish the job by December 11th.

France tells COP21 negotiators to speed up
Photo: AFP

“My message is clear: we must accelerate the process because there is still a lot of work to do,” he told journalists on the sidelines of the UN conference in Paris' northern outskirts.

“Options for compromise need to be found as quickly as possible,” he added.

“Heads of state and government on Monday gave us an unambiguous mandate, and we must succeed.”

Since a high-profile opening by more than 150 world leaders on Monday, bureaucrats have been poring over a draft of the first pact to propose a global roster of carbon-curbing undertakings.

The goal is to limit warming to 2C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

The marathon conference is scheduled to close at 6 pm (1700 GMT) on December 11th – but the process is notorious for textual bickering and running over schedule.

Bureaucrats have been given an interim deadline of midday (1100 GMT) this Saturday to produce a blueprint, which will then be given to environment ministers to make the political decisions required for a deal.

A European negotiator earlier told AFP there was “growing frustration” with what he described as a “very slow” pace of work.

And Greenpeace campaigner Li Shuo, who has observer status in the talks, described the process as “quite messy”, with negotiations in “contact groups, spinoff groups, informal informals, huddles”.

“At some point, we definitely need to switch gear,” he said.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres cautioned against despair.

“The text of the agreement will go through ups and downs, there will be many commas inserted and commas removed because that is the nature of this. It is a legally binding text and needs to be reviewed very, very carefully,” she said.


French president’s trolling of Donald Trump delights the French AND Americans

Of all the reactions from global leaders to Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Paris climate deal, there was only one they were talking about on Twitter and in the press on both sides of the Atlantic for that matter.

French president's trolling of Donald Trump delights the French AND Americans
Photo: Screengrab France24

Shortly after Donald Trump made a not-so-shock announcement to withdraw the US from the Paris climate deal, the reactions from disappointed world leaders began to roll in.

But the one that grabbed all the attention and the headlines was from the French President Emmanuel Macron, who once again showed he knows how to impress on the world stage.

For a start Macron was quick off the blocks, taking to French TV at midnight local time to make a speech to the nation.

But how he really impressed and surprised viewers was by making his speech both in French and English. See the video below.

For a start French presidents don't normally speak English at all, let alone have the nerve and language ability to deliver a statement on live TV in Shakespeare's tongue.

And it's fair to say it went down well both in France and over the pond in America where Macron seems to be developing a huge following due to his willingness to stand up to both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

AS usual Twitter was the first place to react.

Indeed many Americans were so impressed with Macron's English that it led them to mock the ability of their own president to speak his native language.

But the real crowd winner was Macron's trolling of Donald Trump when he ended his speech by twisting the US president's campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” to “”Make Our Planet Great Again.”

Macron even tweeted this image out and it soon went viral, getting 100,000 retweets.

That prompted the hashtag #makeourplanetgreatagain to top the Twitter trends in France.

But then Macron twisted the knife even further and told Americans disappointed with their new president to come to France to help battle climate change. And judging by many tweets, a lot of which were a little abusive to include here, many Americans (or at least those who don't like Trump) would be happy to take him up on the offer.

Macron's rebuke went down well on both sides of the Atlantic with the American press appreciating his “sermon” to Donald Trump and the French press acknowledging the ingenuity of his decision to give a speech in English. 

One article in Le Point magazine talked of how Macron had made the French feel proud of their president again who had in just three weeks become the “leader of the free world”.

While Macron may be under a little pressure at home, given the scandal that has surrounded one of his ministers, it's fair to say he has made an almighty impression in the international sphere in just under three weeks since he was inaugurated.

Although after his efforts last night he'd be forgiven for being a little hesitant next time he has to shake Donald Trump's hand.

READ ALSO: 'A moment of truth': Macron says he was ready for Trump handshake