Climate conference’s success "crucial to preserving our planet", say France and Mexico

Climate disruption/COP21 – Joint statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, President of COP21, and his Mexican counterpart, Mr José Antonio Meade Kuribreña

Paris, 17 July 2015

France, which will hold the presidency of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015 in Paris, and Mexico, which will chair the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in November 2016, call for the strengthening of international action in support of sustainable development.

Our two countries reaffirm their commitment to reaching, in Paris in December 2015, a legally binding, universal, ambitious and fair agreement commensurate with the challenges we are facing and the expectations of our citizens.

To this end, we call for the acceleration of negotiations, reflecting the full commitment of countries as well as their leadership.

We call on all countries to present, between now and COP21 – as they have pledged to do so – the most ambitious contributions possible, notably in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, including over the long term, and climate change adaptation initiatives. We urge the countries in a position to do so to set out in 2020 indicative targets for lowering the carbon intensity of their economies by 2050.

In this respect, we welcome the fact that Mexico and France, together with the EU, presented in March their planned nationally determined contributions within the framework of the Paris Agreement, which is an unequivocal sign of our determination to resolutely address the challenges of climate change.

In order to effectively limit global warming to less than 1.5 or 2 degrees centigrade, a target that requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of the global economy in the second half of the 21st century, we support the adoption of a lasting agreement that is capable of evolving and will provide for the regular review of national objectives and collective goals within the framework of a robust and transparent mechanism that will help strengthen mutual trust.

We also encourage developed countries to step up their efforts in order to uphold their commitment to mobilizing $100 billion in public and private funding per year from 2020 in support of the fight against global warming in developing countries, with increased efforts on adaptation to its effects and while improving transparency. We call on all other countries in a position to do so to assist in these financial efforts.

These will only be effective if they are based on national economic policies that take climate risks into consideration, notably through the widespread use of carbon pricing, the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and increased incentives for investment in resilient, low carbon infrastructure.

The success of the Paris Climate Conference is crucial to preserving our planet and its biological diversity. To that end, we are pursuing our cooperation with a view to promoting significant agreements enabling us to make decisive progress in the area of preservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

As an expression of their commitment, Mexico and France have decided to step up their cooperation on climate change by encouraging the establishment of strategic alliances fostering the transfer of clean technologies and scientific knowledge, and strengthening national capacities to ease the transition to a carbon-free economy. The two countries will also work together on soil decontamination, ocean acidification, and such areas as sustainable waste management and sustainable transportation. Mexico and France will make these issues a priority in their respective regions./.

Mexico/Franco-Mexican Economic Forum – Speech by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (excerpts)

Paris, 16 July 2015

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France/Mexico/trade

As [MEDEF] President [Pierre] Gattaz has excellently recalled, the foundations of our economic relationship are solid. Mexico and France are complementary in economic terms and our trade has increased by an average of 16% a year over the past five years, reaching more than €4 billion in 2014. This tendency increased in the first months of 2015, and in the sectors which are experiencing particular dynamism: it’s not an exhaustive list, but I’d mention energy, aerospace, health and agrifoods, as shown by the closer ties between Pemex and Total – whose CEO is here – and the decision by Sanofi Pasteur and Birmex to increase production of the flu vaccine.

Thanks to this dynamic, Mexico’s share of total French trade with Latin America has increased spectacularly: last year, Mexico accounted for more than 20% of our trade with the continent, compared to 14% in 2010. This momentum is going to continue thanks to the structural reforms you’ve begun, Mr President, particularly in energy and telecommunications, whose goal is to boost the Mexican economy and provide opportunities for new cooperation which our businesses are ready to grasp. The updating of the 1997 free trade agreement between the European Union and Mexico, which France strongly supports, will contribute to this momentum.

If we want to go even further – and we want to –, we can count in particular on the support of the Franco-Mexican Strategic Council (CSFM) established by our two presidents, which will be meeting this afternoon at the Elysée Palace. This Strategic Council has worked hard over the last two years, and I want to congratulate its members and presidents because, in the areas of aerospace, energy, security and defence, tourism and sustainable cities, some really outstanding work has been done.

So the development of our economic exchanges is very positive, but – because there is a “but” – we can and must do even better, by further exploiting the growth reserves in our relationship. For my part, I see five.

Strategic partnership

Firstly, we must give our strategic partnership even more concrete shape through flagship industrial and technological cooperation projects: I’m thinking of security and defence equipment, space, nuclear energy and telecommunications – in particular the Internet and cyber security, but also the digital industry: for example, supercalculators and Big Data. Between two major countries which are friends and which are committed to their strategic and technological autonomy, the potential for cooperation is huge. And let’s acknowledge that on this level – and I’ve learnt to put it in the Quai d’Orsay’s own language – there’s still room for progress.

Innovation

Secondly, we must take up the challenge of innovation, through our innovative SMEs and mid-caps, which – let’s be very clear on this, too – don’t yet do enough business with each other. In this regard, I’m delighted with the signature, in a few minutes’ time, of a cooperation [agreement] between Business France and its Mexican counterpart, ProMexico. Thanks to the partnerships that are going to be started between BPI-France [French Public Investment Bank] and public and private players in the financing of innovation in Mexico, we’ll have a full raft of instruments benefiting innovative SMEs in our two countries. Concurrently, we’re striving to link innovation, research and vocational training, for example recently with the first Franco-Mexican health conference and plans to create technology training centres in Mexico.

Green growth

Thirdly, green growth. We’re drawing closer to COP21, and I want to thank you, Mr President, for what you said yesterday when you confirmed that France was side by side with Mexico and Mexico side by side with France for the preparation of COP21. Mexico is very committed on these issues; you’re one of the first countries to have published your INDC [Intended Nationally Determined Contribution]. The fight against climate disruption is an imperative but also an opportunity for growth that Mexican and French businesses must grasp together. You have great expertise; we aren’t lacking in it ourselves when it comes to water, urban transport, energy and sustainable cities. And so we’ve got to work together, and the Campeche pilot project, which is benefiting from the support of both countries, is extremely interesting from that point of view.

Tourism

Fourthly, another sector where our two countries have, as the economists say, a huge comparative advantage is tourism. As you know, we’re modest, like you, and so we can say in all modesty that Mexico and France are two of the most beautiful countries in the world… Cooperation is developing with the forthcoming introduction of a “working holiday visa”. Air links also need to support the growing flow of travellers. In this respect, the Mexican authorities’ agreement for the Paris-Mexico Air France A380 service from the end of 2015 is excellent news.

Investment

Lastly, a final word about cross-investment, which isn’t at the level it could be. For French investment, things are moving in the right direction with 550 French businesses set up in Mexico, employing 110,000 people there. Going the other way, we think – I know this is your view as well – we can do a lot better: only three Mexican companies have set up in France – Cemex, Sigma and Mexichem. So we’ve got to attract more Mexican investors, which partly depends on us but it’s also in the interest of our Mexican colleagues and friends. It’s up to us to present them with concrete investment opportunities. With this in mind, the decision has been taken to establish soon within the Business France agency in Mexico a team dedicated to promoting France as a destination to Mexican investors. I invite our Mexican friends to look very practically at the investment opportunities in France. We shall support them in their task of prospecting and carrying out investment. (…)./.

Published on 20/07/2015

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