French President Macron’s climate actions are true lessons on bold climate leadership for other world leaders, including my own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Macron summit is meant to jump-start the lagging transition to a greener world.
In July of 2017, as the G20 summit was wrapping up in Hamburg, Germany, French President Macron announced a climate summit to be held on December 12, 2017, two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement by 197 countries. This sudden announcement followed the two-day meeting of the G20 as leaders continued to struggle with how to move forward without the US. Macron emerged from the pack to convene a summit to accelerate action on the climate.
The Macron Summit
Source: President Macron, Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE), Flickr
On December 12 in Paris, France, French President Emmanuel Macron will host a summit to take further action on climate two years to the day after the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement. Unofficially, some are calling this “The Macron Summit,” but officially it is called The One Planet Summit and is co-convened by President Macron, the UN and the World Bank.
The Paris Accord signed two years ago was a good first step but it is not enough. On November 20, 2017, in one of the top peer-reviewed scientific journals on the planet, Nature, the following was published: “Even if — and it is a huge if — all countries meet their current Paris pledges, the world will probably heat up by substantially more than 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures”.
The main focus of the Macron Summit will be to determine how those working in public and private finance can innovate to support and accelerate our common efforts to fight climate change. Specifically, it is anticipated that there will be a launch of the Canada-UK coal phase-out coalition. Carbon pricing and disclosure will also be on the table. The Summit will be preceded by Climate Finance Day 2017 on December 11, and a dialogue on Resilience Intel will follow the summit.
Border Adjustments for Carbon
In September, Macron called for border carbon adjustments in his Sorbonne speech on the future of Europe. In November, at the United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Macron told the conference that Europe needs a floor price on carbon – accompanied by “a border tax that will also protect our economic sectors against imports from countries that do not respect the same objectives and decide not to engage in this environmental transition.’’
Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Representatives from approximately 50 countries and NGOs are expected to attend, including Joseph Robertson, Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s (CCL) Global Strategy Director.
“We favor a straightforward economy-wide fee on carbon-emitting fuels with 100% of revenues returned directly to households every month, because it is fair, effective, and powers ingenuity and local economic resilience,” says Robertson. “For the same reason, we will be working with partners to engineer Resilience Intel – a way to find, harness and scale up climate-smart investment across the whole economy. This is how those not in the halls of power can gain new leverage to design and build a better, more just and livable future”.
U.S. President Donald Trump was not invited to the Summit and Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau is not expected at the summit. However, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change will be there.
“We applaud the work of the UK-Canada coal phase-out coalition and the Canada-China joint statement,” states Cathy Orlando director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada. “From the Macron Summit, we will be looking at how countries coordinate fair carbon pricing using border carbon adjustments to protect domestic businesses and incent other countries to join in significant climate action via carbon pricing .”
World Slowly Moving Ahead with Carbon Pricing
According to the Institute for Climate Economics, as of September 1st, 2017, more than 40 countries and 25 provinces or cities have adopted carbon pricing policies. These jurisdictions — including the European Union, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and California — account for around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, India has a coal tax which is not captured in this report.
CCL has thousands of engaged volunteers in 38 countries around the world creating political will for a livable world, by advocating fair pricing of climate pollution.