Laurence Tubiana: Paris deal should be operational by 2018

UN climate champion and France envoy talks to Climate Home on the sidelines of the Business and Climate summit in London, revealing her hopes and plans through to 2018

Laurence Tubiana with former US secretary of state John Kerry at the COP21 Paris climate talks (Pic: COP21/Flickr)


The Paris climate deal should be ready for action by 2018, France’s climate change envoy Laurence Tubiana has suggested.

A clear deadline for it to be implemented is one of a number of decisions she hopes will be agreed at this November’s COP22 UN climate summit in Marrakech.

In an interview with Climate Home in London Tubiana – a key architect of last December’s UN climate pact – spoke of her hopes for that meeting and the rest of the year.

Tubiana on… COP22 goals

“One is a clear political commitment for [the deal] to come early into force… having 2018 as a deadline to implement the Paris Agreement – that would take shape of a decision in Marrakech.”

“We need a clear roadmap to 2018 to prepare assessment and begin to see what would be additional action to bridge the gap – what would be a pathway to stabilise temperatures.”

On finance, Tubiana said she hoped to see a “roadmap” to meeting the US$100 billion by 2020 pledge made by developed countries in 2009. UN officials have been working on this all year.

She also suggested a new package of support from financial institutions and donors to help countries implement their national climate plans would be launched at the summit.

Tubiana on… business

In her role as one of two UN “climate champions” she has focused heavily on the role of the private sector in delivering on its myriad pledges from the 2015 Paris meeting.

“We need know to understand the targets and how they are implemented. The job to translate them into something complete and accountable is being worked on.”

“By COP22 they will have their own roadmap,” she added, suggesting that COP22 will deliver a “roadmap” for businesses through to 2018 and the planned global stocktaking session.

“We want to invite them to go to government and try to help and discuss… have a candid dialogue with government and business on the fine definition of the NDCs [nationally determined contributions].

“We need to know if it’s greenwashing or real action”

Tubiana on… long term action

One of her priorities is mid-century carbon plans, a project covered extensively by Climate Home in the past 12 months.

The Paris climate pact stipulated countries should start work on these. The US, China, India, France, UK and Germany are among those already working on 2050 pathways.

“By COP we can ask to a number of countries to deliver amid-century strategy by 2018… all major countries by 2018 at the latest.”

She also wants cities, regions and business to put forward mid-century strategies

Tubiana on G20 and fossil fuel subsidies

“I don’t have a sense of where G20 countries are… the group is functioning, people are committing but there is not a clear target in time.

“This meeting [June 29-30] will be decisive to see if countries will deliver. We have to put the pressure on to see if we can get a target before 2020.”

Tubiana on Brexit

“Condition number one is the UK delivering on its own targets, which are really well framed… and with this progressive institutional setting – if this is there many things can be kept open in discussions with the EU.

“There are other chapters… overseas development aid orientation, participation of UK on major international boards of climate like the World Bank and other development agencies.

“This could be a soft power discussion… can we align objectives outside? I don’t see any impossibility of doing that whatever the formal objectives of the EU.

“The alignment of EU policies on climate can survive, but it depends entirely on the next government in the UK.”

Tubiana on EU ratifying Paris

“We need to work out how we meet this target of 40% [by 2030] without the UK… but anyway it’s not a drama either – every country has to make an effort at the end of the day.

“If we want EU to ratify before the finalisation of negotiations we have to take action and organise burden sharing without the UK… but that is a big question mark.”

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