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France and the Philippines call for “universal, equitable and ambitious climate deal” in Paris during official visit to Manila

French President François Hollande. Creative Commons: Saly Bechsin, 2013

French President François Hollande. Creative Commons: Saly Bechsin, 2013

French president François Hollande is talking climate change and adaptation funding in the Philippines this week.

Accompanied by a French delegation of government officials and celebrities–including Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolène Royal, and actress Marion Cotillard– President Hollande is spending 48 hours in Manila to discuss the impacts of climate change with Filipino president Benigno Aquino in this vulnerable region.

Over the past two years, the Philippines were ravaged by two major typhoons — Haiyan and Hagupit — killing thousands of people, forcing millions to relocate and causing injuries to many more. In a joint statement, president Hollande and Aquino called for a “universal, equitable and ambitious climate deal” in Paris.

They said:

“As we meet in the Philippines, where people have endured an unprecedented series of extreme weather events in the last few years, we are reminded while the developing countries have contributed least to climate change, we are the ones that suffer the most from the impacts of climate change.”

French NGOs are expecting Hollande to use his presence in Manila to put adaptation financing at the forefront of climate discussions, arguing that France has a responsibility towards developing countries in helping them stay resilient against climate change impacts and catastrophes.

Peggy Pascal from Action Against Hunger said:

“While humanitarian aid is crucial, it is still not enough.. It is urgent for states to increase investments to minimize impacts. We must support vulnerable communities in preparing against frequent and intense, something that is already happening. The actions of NGOs in the Philippines (during natural disasters) prove that adaptation to climate change can make a difference and save lives.”

Just a few months ahead of UN climate talks in Paris this December, French groups also expect France to revisit their national plans and step up their national energy transition commitments.

Romain Benicchio, Senior Policy Advisor for Oxfam said:

“France, as the host of the COP21, can only be deemed credible by taking the necessary steps to support financing the most vulnerable.”

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