Macron promises to bring int’l draft agreement for environment to UN

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to bring an international draft agreement dedicated to environmental issues to the United Nations (UN) in September.

Written by dozens of international legal experts, the draft agreement aims to set out an international framework in the fight against climate change and for the protection of the environment.

“On the planetary scale, we must reach a new step after the Paris agreement,” said the president on Saturday, speaking in a large amphitheater in the Sorbonne at the close of a day-long working session on the environment which brought together some dignitaries, including former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, founding president of the R20 (Regions for Climate Action) and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with French officials, law experts and ecology activists from different countries around the world.

Calling for further fight against climate change, the French president said “the United Nations is the correct venue.”

The text, composed of 26 articles, reemploys major legal principles already adopted in other international declarations on the environment, such as the polluter-payer principle, the right to an ecologically healthy environment, the right to access to information, the principle of non-regression, and others.

Once adopted, it will serve to complement the first two international pacts adopted by the United Nations in 1966, of which one deals with civil and political rights, the other concerning economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to international environmental law which is today fragmented into dozens of thematic agreements.

But Macron admitted that the adoption may still take time. “The process which is waiting for us in order to have this world agreement ratified…will be slow, difficult,” said President Macron, while underlining that it is no longer possible to wait, because “the world cannot wait.”

He reminded listeners that the G20 summit to be held on July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany would be a key meeting in order to reach full implementation of the Paris Agreement, and that the COP23 in November would also be an occasion to raise commitments taken on the international level on greenhouse gas emissions.

Saturday’s international meeting, where the draft “world pact for the environment” was presented, was developed on the initiative of the French think tank “Club des jurists” in collaboration with some 80 experts from 40 different countries and regions.