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Home arrow newsitems arrow G7 Environment Ministerial Summit Chair, France's Rugy to EF on Conclusions: Better Dialogue with US

G7 Environment Ministerial Summit Chair, France's Rugy to EF on Conclusions: Better Dialogue with US

Written by ACM
Monday, 06 May 2019
g7_environment_summit_chair_rugy_replies_t_agg_quest_in_press_conf_eurofora_400

*Metz/G7 Environment Ministerial Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- An UnPrecedented and UnExpected, but Realistic "Progress", Both in the Way to Deal with the still Remaining Disagreements on the "Hot" Issue of Climate Change, and in the Extension on various Other Global Environment Topical Issues where Agreements are Possible, between European and other Countries with the USA, surprisingly emerged Today, as it appears from the Reply that "G7" Environment Summit's Chairman, French Minister Francois De Rygy gave to a key Question by "Eurofora", during the Official Press Conference on the Conclusions of that exceptional, 2 Days-long Collective Event at Metz, but Also by several Other relevant Statements of the main protagonists Today :

g7_metz_concluding_press_conf__agg__le_monde_lm_afp_ef_400 

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Already from the outset, De Rugy had hailed the "Friendly" atmosphere in which USA's representative, EPA Director, Andrew Wheeler, agreed to present the well-known "Difference of Approach" about the Issue of "Climate" change, on which, however, Both Paris and Washinbton cooperate, in "2 or 3 Paragraphs" inserted "at one and Same Text" of joint "Conclusions", (instead of 2 Separate Texts, or None).

- Metz's Formula marks a "Considerable Progress", he rightfully stressed, compared both to the Past and even to some other Incidents Elsewhere, still nowadays, (See Infra), Advancing towards an "Agreement on the Way to deal wth our Divergence on Climate".

The Importance of this matter is highlighted also by the fact that this Progress surfaced just after Wheeler's meeting with "Eurofora", Yesterday Evening, (Comp. Supra), where EPA's Director had, indeed, Warned us that this "Hot" Matter was "Not Yet" Settled, and should be Discussed anew Tomorrow, as it did. (See : ...)

 - Wheeler also qualified as "very Productive", this G7 Ministerial Summit at Metz, with several International Projects for the Environment, among which, the USA could Support, and the above-mentioned Formula on Climate (Comp. Supra + See Infra).

+ Citting several International Environmental Initiatives that USA can support and cooperate with, Wheeler mentioned, inter alia, also, BioDiversity (See: the relevant "Charter of Metz", Adopted here Earlier Today), protection of Great Apes (reportedly decimated, recently, also by atrocious "Tests" aiming Humans), Recycling and Drinkable Water, Coral Reefs and Oceans, etc.

g7_coral_reefs_map_eurofora_400 

It's Interesting to note that, as De Rugy had already observed, (f.ex. in his Earlier Reply to a Previous relevant "Eurofora"s Question : Comp, f.ex.: .. etc), several among them can also Contribute to the Global Fight for the Climate and against Global Warming, too, in various concrete ways, (f.ex. Oceans, BioDiversity, Coral Reefs, etc). F.ex., "Oceans absorb 93% of Climate Change Heat", other G7 Participants stressed.

g7_ocean_absorbs_93_of_climate_change_heat_eurofora_400 

-----------------------------------------------

NB=> METZ's Deal Formula is Structured in "3 Paragraphs", as De Rugy highlighted :

* A (§ 24) points at the Main Targets, against Climate Change, on which there is an Agreement.

* B (§ 25) points at the Stance of those Countries which Stick at the "Paris' Agreement" (2015) : Focused mainly on Restricting Emmissions) as the main way to Fight against Global Warming, Now Urging even to Advance More and Faster.

* And C (§ 26) points a the specific position, supported particularl by the New USA Presidency, to carefully Review Climate Science, and use Other Means to Settle the Problems, well Balanced with Economic Growth and abordable Energy access, particularly Focused on Innovative Technologies, while also Cooperating, in parallel, on Adapting and building Resilience.

[+Partly UPDATED:] Such a Modus Operandi, as it was invented and agreed at Metz, apparently Lacked in the almost Synchronous, and Parallely Evolving, "Arctic Council", these Same Days, (with participation of Scandinavian EU Countries, Russia, Canada and USA, but Not France, neither Germany or UK):

Indeed, just Half a Day Later-on, that "Arctic Council" notoriously Resulted, for the 1st Time in its History, in a kind of "Pat" : I.e. withOut fully-fledged Conclusions, precisely Because of a relevant Disagreement on Climate issues !

---------------------------

+ But this new situation appeared even More Surprizing, after De Rugy's Reply to a relevant Question raised by "Eurofora", during the Official Press Conference on the Conclusions of this 2019 "G7" Environment Ministerial Summit in Metz :

                                                 

g7_environment_chair_french_minister_de_rugy_points_at_agg_in_press_conf._metz_summit_eurofora_400
(De Rugy points at Eurofora)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

- "Which Global Environment Issues are the less disputed and the most widely supported, internationally, nowadays ?", "Eurofora" asked De Rugy in substance.

-------------------

g7_environment_ministerial_summit_chairman_frances_de_rugy_replies_to_agg_question_at_conluding_press_conference_in_metz_eurofora_400 

- "I Felt, in our exchanges, Today, that the Issue of Climate is No more Contested (Disputed), he Surprisingly Replied, starting from what was routinely considered to be the most controversial...

- In this regard, "I want to stress that (even) the American Representative (Andrew Wheeler, EPA Director) wasn't here in order to Contest the Importance of the Climate Issue", De Rugy pointed out.

- "There is a Difference of views on the Means that should be used, on whether to have Binding Commitments in the framework of the (2015) Paris' Agreement", (etc).

- "But he did not at all dispute, neither that Phenomenon, nor the Usefulness to Act", De Rygy stressed.

- "In consequence, I consider that this (Climate change) is, Nowadays, an Issue gathering a very Large Consensus, as far as it concerns the Need to Act".

- "Beyond that, I think that each Government, in each Country...," he added with natural reserve...

+  "Moreover, I was impressed, in various bilateral exchanges that I had with my collegues (Ministers of Environment) during these 2 Days (May 5 + 6, 2019), by the fact that a lot among the main series of Questions ("Problematique") raised in France, are naturally found also in Many other Countries":

- "It's always about issues such as, f.ex.: the Economic Impact, the Social Acceptability, the (Ecological) Transition, its Funding, the Investments to streamline, etc.", he highlighted.  

 g7_de_rugy_replies_to_agg_question_eurofora_400

- "Even in very Diverse, socio-economic and/or geographic Situations, accross the World, we often find the Same Problematic !", De Rugy firmly concluded, in reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"'s question.

---------------------------

g7_press_conf__agg_eurofora_400 

=> [+Partly UPDATED on 7/5/2019] Shortly Afterwards, his USA counterpart, Andrew Wheeler, almost Confirmed, at least the Main Substance of those De Rugy's views, in an official EPA's Press Release :

- Indeed, the competent US Representative hailed "the Constructive Dialogue from ...meetings in Metz, France", as he appreciated it.

- In a Bilateral Meeting with De Rugy, Wheeler reportedly said that USA might, eventually, Review its current Intention to Withdraw from the (2015) Paris Agreement, IF "opportunities for ReNegotiation arise, that would Level the playing field for the US".

- Meanwhile, he also ensured that the USA will Continue "Reducing Greenhouse gas Emmissions", and "work with the International Community to Reduce its Carbon footprint". Inter alia, Wheeler presented, from the outset of this G7 Environment Ministerial Summit, "the Trump Administration's efforts to Reduce criteria Air Pollutants", and "the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) and Safer Affordable Fuel efficien (SAFE) rules to address Emissions for Electric Power Plants and Vehicles".

----------

+ But the US Representative also "Thanked" French Minister De Rugy's G7 Environment Ministerial Summit's chairmanship, "for Bringing Together our International Partners", and for "advancing Wide-ranging Environmental Issues".

=> Reacting in practice to an Idea Highlighted by "Eurofora" on Sunday, May 5, at our 1s Question/Reply with De Rugy (See : ..., etc), as well as in a Brief but Topical exchange with Wheeler later-on that Day, (See ibid, etc),

>>> the American EPA's Director went on to Focus also on "Oceans", "Lands"' preservation, "Clean Air", (etc), "while ensuring Economic Prosperity", (etc), in addition to "BioDiversity", "Great Apes" protection, "Coral Reefs", etc.  

- "Every Year, an estimated 11 to 28 Billion pounds of Waste ends up in the Ocean, harming Marine Life and Coastal economies", while "nearly 60 % of that waste comes from six Asian nations", and "approximately 80 % of ocean trash comes from Land-based sources, including plastics", as he claimed.

In the meantime, Wheeler reportedly raised such issues also in his Bilateral Meeting with his Japanese counterpart, (as Japan currently Chairs the "G20" Summit, scheduled for June 2019), while De Rugy had Replied to an ealier "Eurofora"s Question also by revealing that France and other countries currently tried to bring in the Ocean Environment protection projects "also China" and others.

+ In addition, pointing at French President Macron's declared will to place his Chairmanship of the 2019 "G7" Summit under the aim also to Fight against "InEqualities", the USA Representative reportedly stressed that "those withOut Electricity (i.e. affordable acces to Energy) and Clean drinking Water, face the Biggest Environmental InEqualities !" Indeed, "Waters issues are the largest and most immediate environmental issues facing the World Today", so that "G7 members must look to addressing the 1 to 3 Million People that Die each Year due to Lack of access to Safe drinking Water and sanitation", as he denounced.

g7_environment__usas_wheeler_speaking_flanked_by_de_rugy_brune_eurofora_400 

Wheeler also mentioned "Trump Administration's" "National Water ReUse action Plan", reportedly stressing the "Need for Innovations" in "Water ReCycling", and the "Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act", which might inspire "International Institutions Projects overseas", as he claimed, while often Flanked also by the French Secretary of State on Environment, Brune Poirson, a former Expert in Water Distribution Big Corporation "Veolia", and, Nowadays at the Presidency of UNO's Environment Assembly...

+ Last, but not least, concerning anOther Landmark of 2019 "G7" Environment Ministerial Summit at Metz, Wheeler also reportedly claimed that "the US spends upwards $ 400 Million to support BioDioversity conservation Worldwide", and vowed that the US is "committed" to the "Metz Charter on BioDiversity", adopted here by the "G7" earlier Today.

 

 

g7_biodiversity__extinction_of_species_eurofora_shot_400

 

- De Rugy, speaking Yesterday to Journalists, including "Eurofora", stressed that the French G7 Presidency wanted to launch such a "BioDiversity" Plan only after having obtained a solid "Scientific Basis", and that's why it had awaited until a Group of Experts starts to Publish its relevant Findings, (showing an Historic Acceleration of Risks for Extinction of several Species of Plants, Fishes and/or Animals), precisely these Days.

=> Indeed, significantly, the 1st specific Chapter in the Official Conclusions of this 2019 "G7" Environment Ministers' Summit at Metz, adopted Today, calling for an "International Mobilisation" and "Leadership", does so "in favour of BioDiversity".

+ This is Followed by a 2nd Chapter focusing to the "International Mobilisation for Climate", (Comp. Supra).

++ "Oceans" (Comp. Supra), as well as "Energy Resources + Efficiency", are dealt with, in subsequent Chapters.

+++ "Concrete Solutions" and "co-Benefits", as well as "Sustainable Funding", practically conclude the Official Text of "G7" Environment Ministers, collectively negotiated nowadays in Metz.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

-----------------------------    

=> Meawhile, Climate issues are expected to stay"Hot" particularly at Short term:  F.ex. at Tomorrow's "Arctic Council"'s outcome in Finland, 7 May 2019, (Comp. Supra); as well as on May 9, at Sibiu (Romania) EU Summit, where French President Macron is due to lead 9 or 10 EU Member Countries in a call for 25% of EU's Budget to be used for Ecologic Transition, and particularly on Climate issues, (Comp. Supra), in the run up to the forthcoming EU Parliament Elections, on May 26, where De Rugy hopes that Political Parties favorable to Ecological Transition, (particularly on Climate), as Macron's LREM, would get More MEPs, as he said Yesterday to Journalists, including "Eurofora". Sortly afterwards, an Exceptional International Conference, organised by UNO's Secretary General Antonio Guteres, on September 2019, aims to Boost more Support for the Paris Agreement (2015), against Global Warming. Up to December 2019, when COP 25 is organised in Chile, a Country that de Rugy had Invited nowadays to Metz, (Comp. Supra).

 

But, Next Year (2020) = Change of context : The "G7" Summit is taken over by Climate-Sceptic, new USA President Don Trump (who faces a crucial re-Election test on Autumn 2020) ! In consequence, it will be then Wheeler who would invite De Rugy to the Next "G7" Ministerial meeting on Environment, and no more the other way round... Thus, the main Focus seems to turn towards ...BioDiversity, as China will host an International Summit on that issue, on Autumn 2020.    

     +Advancing even Further, the decor Changes even more, towards a Wider scope : France organises a Global Conference at Marseille, together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a specialist, inter alia, also for the publication of a World-wide List of "Endangered Species", therefore, on BioDiversity too, as well as for a very much Wider scope of Global Environment's main Issues, (which are often interrelated, in several key points).

 

(../..)

 

 

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***

 

 

(NDLR : Partly UPDATED on 7 May 2019. +"DraftNews", as send to "Eurofora"s Donors/Subscribes, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be publised asap).

 

 

***

 

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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