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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 

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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.

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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.

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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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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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