Macron calls on world's 'largest emitters' to 'scale up' their commitments

Macron calls on world's 'largest emitters' to 'scale up' their commitments
© Andy Buchanan/pool via The Associated Press

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron tells UK to 'get serious' on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions Cities prep security plans for large holiday crowds Harris's communications director to depart next month MORE called upon the world’s “largest emitters” to “scale up” their emissions reductions commitments, during his Monday opening statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

"I would like to appeal to those countries who are not contributing what they should today to meet their responsibilities between now and the end of COP, so that we can fulfill this obligation that we undertook in Paris,” Macron said. 

He was referring to the obligation of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. To meet that goal, individual countries had submitted nationally determined reductions following the 2015 Paris climate agreement, but the world is currently on track to warm 2.7 degrees Celsius, or 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit, Macron said, citing a recent U.N. report.

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"The efforts made in the run up to COP over the last few weeks are starting to reduce that gap between those two figures,” he said. “We need to have enough commitment to be able to go back to this 1.5 temperature rise.”

France, as well as the European Union and the United Kingdom, are “ready to meet their commitments,” according to Macron. Acknowledging that deploying the European Union’s Green Deal climate plan will be a challenge, he stressed that pledges made by individual European countries do enable them “to give credibility to this target of 1.5”

“We're implementing all of this nationally and at a European level,” he said. “The largest emitters, whose natural strategies do not match our strategy of 1.5 increase, those countries responsible for most emissions must scale up in the next two weeks.” 

Macron also emphasized the importance of mobilizing $100 billion annually to developing countries — a goal set by developed ones in 2010 for 2020. Climate change, he said, is “injustice squared.”

“It's the most poor countries in Africa and the Caribbean and the Pacific who are the first victims of climate change,” the French leader said. 

The $100 billion will need to be monitored with full transparency to ensure that the places that need the money most are receiving it, according to Macron. The funds, he continued, can go toward protecting biodiversity and promoting economic trade solutions that are linked to the effort to combat climate change. 

“Our solidarity through these $100 billion must make it possible for people to develop these industries, which are regional economic opportunities," Macron added.