Humans Have a Duty to Fight Both Terrorism and Climate Change: French President

By Cheadle, Bruce | The Canadian Press, November 27, 2015 | Go to article overview

Humans Have a Duty to Fight Both Terrorism and Climate Change: French President


Cheadle, Bruce, The Canadian Press


France calls climate fight mankind's duty

--

VALLETTA, Malta - French President Francois Hollande likened the battle against global warming to the fight against terrorism Friday on the eve of the UN-sponsored climate change conference.

Hollande made an extraordinary appearance at a summit of Commonwealth leaders -- an organization of former British colonies and protectorates -- to boost the fortunes of the COP21 climate negotiations that get underway this weekend in Paris.

"Man is the worst enemy of man," Hollande said at a news conference, flanked by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

"We can say it with terrorism but we can say the same when it comes to climate. Human beings are betraying nature, damaging the environment. It is therefore up to human beings to face up to their responsibilities."

His comments came as Canada pledged an additional $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate impacts, a pledge that Hollande and Ban both specifically lauded.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has made fighting climate change a motif of his new Liberal government, reportedly received two rounds of applause during a closed, special Commonwealth session on climate Friday afternoon as he announced the new funding.

"Canada is back and ready to play its part in combating climate change and this includes helping the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world adapt," Trudeau said in a statement.

The new cash is in addition to the $1.5 billion the previous Conservative government contributed to the UN fund since the international community pledged in 2009 to raise US$100 billion by 2020. That means Canada has now exceeded the $4 billion target that environmental groups have been touting as its "fair share," based on the country's national wealth.

The United Nations Children's Fund said the contribution helps establish Canada as a global leader in helping vulnerable children in poor countries affected by climate change.

"We know that children, particularly the poorest, are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, a fundamental threat to their most basic rights, including access to food, water, education and survival," David Morley, UNICEF Canada's president, said in a statement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion called the climate change funding "historic."

"It's not an equalization payment . . …

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