The French Embassy in Washington, DC, is honored to welcome so many distinguished representatives of American and French cities. Cities and local governments are among the most powerful and effective players in fighting climate change and providing residents with a good quality of life. They act efficiently, and their common efforts contribute significantly to a country’s overall results.
France will host the next major climate conference, COP 21, which is expected to give rise to an international agreement. Our country will serve as an honest broker at this global event that will bring together government negotiators and civil society actors. To facilitate their conversations, we decided to create an open, inclusive space in the immediate vicinity of the negotiation center dedicated to civil society and local governments.
To build on the success of this international event, we must prepare an agenda of solutions before the conference and continue working on it afterwards. This agenda will send a loud and clear signal that a transition, toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, involving all the stakeholders, is feasible, profitable, and on track.
At this Washington conference, you will have the opportunity to discuss ways to prevent global warning, best practices on both sides of the Atlantic, how to create “green economy” jobs, and the cost of doing nothing. And on this crucial issue involving government negotiations, new corporate approaches, and citizen activism, you will once again demonstrate that local leaders can make a difference. I wish you a successful conference.