|Francois Hollande speaking at a Paris news conference on the 7th of September 2015. Photo credit: Reuters / Charles Platiau.
By Anders Lorenzen
The President of France, Francois Hollande, has said that if we don’t step up our efforts in dealing with climate change, we could have millions seeking refuge in Europe in the not so distant future.
To escape weather related havoc induced by climate change millions could be seeking asylum in Europe. Hollande’s statement comes amidst the backdrop of a refugee crisis which has engulfed much of Europe. Refugees mainly from Syria have travelled to the shores of Italy and Greece, or through the Turkish borders seeking refuge in a host of European countries with Germany, Sweden and France so far having been most welcoming towards them.
At a press conference in Paris earlier this month, focusing on the refugee crisis, the French President stated: “we won’t have hundreds of thousands of refugees in the next 20 or 30 years, but millions fleeing submerged islands, drought-stricken regions and other catastrophes’’.
Hollande also said that the crucial climate summit, COP21, which France hosts at the end of this year could fail due to a lack of progress in agreeing on an aid package for poorer countries. The package would help them to deal with the impacts of climate change, stating: “everything depends on this question of finance. It’s the key”, he warned that emerging-market countries could scupper a climate treaty that doesn’t contain firm commitments on aid, though he insisted: I will do everything so we can get an agreement on climate in December. France has to show an example on financing”. He said that he expected to see leadership from China. As one of the world’s most polluted nations, they could play a key role in drumming up support for a deal.
The 192 countries, who are members of the UN, will meet in Paris on the 30th of November to discuss a global deal on combatting climate change. The summit will last for two weeks, and so far, countries have agreed that a deal must be made in Paris.