COP28: Laurent Fabius, former prime minister of France and president of COP21 calls for global action against climate change

Addressing climate change needs adaptation, finance, and tackling fossil fuels
"The initial decisions at COP28 have been good but could be pursued by a more general approach" Laurent Fabius

At COP28, former French Prime Minister and COP21 President Laurent Fabius shared his positive outlook with Economy Middle East on the summit’s progress so far, particularly regarding the establishment of the Loss and Damage fund.

However, he also highlighted crucial issues requiring further attention, including adaptation, financing, and the phasing out of fossil fuels.

The world is off track when it comes to climate goals. Laurent Fabius calls for immediate and urgent action.

Economy Middle East: As a key architect of the Paris Agreement, how do you see the involvement of the presidency of COP28 here in the UAE contributing to the global effort against climate change? And what advancements are you expecting in the upcoming days?

Laurent Fabius: I have met many people today and the impression I have is that the starting was good. The decision of the President, Sultan al Jaber, about the loss and damage fund was dealt with at the beginning of the COP.  The Ordre du jour, the schedule, and the fact that many leaders have come here at the beginning were very good.

Now, there are a series of questions that have to be dealt with. The question of what we call adaptation is a big one. The question of finance, which is decisive, and between the public and private sectors. Finally, the question of fossil fuels.

Economy Middle East: How do you think we should address the fossil fuels question?

Laurent Fabius: I think that the person who I would charge, I hope that they will do their best. I’m sure they will do their best. But, we have to deal with that because it’s so important not only for the success of this COP but also as the solution to the climate problem.

Economy Middle East: Are we far away from 1.5 degrees Celsius?

 Laurent Fabius: The figures are not good. All the scientists tell us that we are off track. Remember that before Paris, the tendency was four degrees. Now, it’s something between 2.8 and 3. And, we have to be at 1.5, which means we need to act. Not only do we need to act largely but urgently. Not in 20 years, right now. I’m sure that, having discussed that with President Sultan al Jaber, he knows that completely.

Economy Middle East: Are we expecting a historical agreement like the one that you’ve been involved with in Paris back in the day?

Laurent Fabius: I hope so.

Read: COP28: Dietmar Siersdorfer, Middle East managing director at Siemens Energy on the Middle East’s role in the energy transition

Economy Middle East: A final word from COP28. What is your what’s your message to the world?

Laurent Fabius: It’s a modest message. The initial decisions have been good but could be pursued by a more general approach, particularly, the problems raised. This would make it a global success.

About Laurent Fabius

​Laurent Fabius is the former prime minister of France and president of COP21. He was elected deputy for the Seine-Maritime department for the first time in 1978 and has been re-elected ever since. Laurent Fabius served two terms as president of the National Assembly, from 1988 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2000.

He has held many ministerial positions during his career, including that of prime minister from 1984 to 1986. Laurent Fabius is the author of six books and a specialist in economic and financial issues, European affairs, and international relations.

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