France’s action in climate negotiations


The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - better known as COP - is the main multilateral discussion framework on the climate. At the negotiations, France is represented by a delegation comprising experts from several ministries and agencies, including the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as the European Union delegation. This EU delegation negotiates on behalf of all EU Member States, with a team made up of experts from the European Commission and national ministries. In order to help raise awareness of the international climate emergency and mobilization, France also supports more sector-based or regional coalitions, including:

  • The NDC Partnership created at COP22 to support developing countries in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The Partnership currently includes 110 countries, the European Union, 41 international institutions and 29 non-state stakeholders.
  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched jointly by France and India at COP21, with the aim of reducing the costs of solar energy;
  • The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) – launched at COP21 by the African Union Heads of State, with the aim of installing 10 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020 and 300 GW by 2030, while providing universal access to sustainable energy;
  • The Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS), a multi-donor initiative (Australia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom) working to build capacity of early warning systems for extreme climate events in less developed countries and small island developing States;
  • The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), which aims to protect the forest of the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest forest in terms of carbon storage and home to exceptional biodiversity.

In addition to its contributions to multilateral negotiations, France is also working bilaterally for the climate. The issue is addressed systematically by the authorities, in bilateral meetings that the President of the Republic, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Ecological Transition hold with their foreign counterparts. Also, through its bilateral aid, France supports developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, in their efforts to tackle climate change and adapt to its effects.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) now systematically integrates climate and environmental issues in the projects it implements internationally. It is the first development bank to set an objective of 100% alignment with the Paris Agreement, thereby stopping to finance any project that goes against climate action. It also promotes this alignment approach among its 24 fellow members of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC).

Since COP21, the implementation of the Paris Agreement has been a diplomatic priority for France.

It aims to:

• Encourage the implementation of national commitments and the achievement of climate goals in all fields. The goal is to bring trajectories of greenhouse gas emissions in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement (which aim to hold the increase in temperatures below 1.5-2°C);
• Promote the commitment of France and the European Union, particularly when it comes to achieving carbon neutrality of our economies by 2050. This means stepping up efforts by 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
• Support climate science and the world of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to inform collective choices;
• Help mobilize public and private financial flows, and direct them to projects that will help us achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. The President of the Republic has pledged €5 billion in climate finance (including €1.5 billion for adaptation) by 2020. This pledge was achieved and surpassed in 2019, with €5.96 billion in climate finance, including €1.55 billion for adaptation.
• Help the most vulnerable developing countries to fight climate change, particularly through action of the Agence Française de Développement (the Adapt’Action Facility endowed with €30 million for the 2017-2021 period and the 2050 Facility endowed with €30 million) and the Green Climate Fund;
• Work with civil society, companies and cities for ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement through tangible initiatives.

Lastly, to further the evolution of official development assistance, France held the Finance in Common Summit from 10 to 12 November 2020 as part of the Paris Peace Forum. This Summit brought together, for the first time, 450 public development banks from across the world working at local, regional, national or international level. It adopted a joint declaration stating their joint commitment to aligning with the Paris Agreement and contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and green and inclusive recovery. Work begun in Paris will continue ahead of COP26 with a second Finance in Common Summit scheduled for 2021.

Updated: December 2020