At the end of a climate summit organized by France two years after the Paris accord was signed, French President Emmanuel Macron announced 12 non-binding commitments, from a $300 million pledge to fight desertification to accelerating the transition towards a decarbonized economy.
“Today, we have begun to recapture the ground a bit in this battlefield, because concrete decisions were taken, because we were rightly pushed to take these commitments,” said Macron.
Public and private financial institutions pledged to channel more funds to spur the transition to a green economy and investors said they would pressure corporate giants to shift towards more ecologically friendly strategies. Macron said companies who were not “in the club” must be “named and shamed.
Among the commitments, more than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said on Tuesday they would step up pressure on the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to combat climate change.
“This is not a choice between our planet and prosperity. We choose both. Actually, we can ensure that we are protecting the planet, by investing in the technology of the future,” said UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
“Let’s be aware and take concrete actions. We all have our own way of stopping climate change, but only if we unite our actions, there will be a better place for all, for the polar bears and for us. Let’s make the planet great again. Thank you,” said Eva, an American girl living in Paris.
Meanwhile, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances, drawing praise from environmental groups.
“To ensure that we are aligned with our support to their countries to meet their Paris goals, today we are announcing that the World Bank group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas after 2019,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
However, the summit leaves no headline promise that will likely reassure poor nations on the sharp end of climate change that they will be better able to cope. — Reuters
World Cup final stirs memories of 1998 victory in France
Soccer Football – World Cup – Final – France v Croatia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia – July 15, 2018 France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates winning the World Cup with Alphonse Areola and Blaise Matuidi REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
France’s place in the World Cup final on Sunday (July 15) has left many hoping that Les Bleus will be able to recreate the magic that saw them crowned world champions on home soil in 1998.
The 3-0 victory over Brazil on July 12, 1998, remains seared in the memories of a generation of French football fans and made legends of the team which included current France coach Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc and Thierry Henry.
Crowds watched the match on giant screens in front of the Paris town hall then headed to the 2 kilometer-long Champs Elysees avenue where the party continued into the night.
Interviewed by France Inter radio on Friday morning, member of the winning team Lilian Thuram, who scored two goals against this year’s finalists Croatia in the 1998 semi-final, said he would love to be back on the pitch.
“When I found out that it was going to be France-Croatia in the final I said to myself, ‘Lilian, get ready’,” he joked, adding he would be watching the final in Moscow from the stands.
The ’98 heroes were treated to a victory parade down the Champs Elysees and a reception at the Elysee Presidential Palace with then-president Jacques Chirac and the same star treatment is expected for the 2018 team if they bring home the cup. -Reuters