France confirms ‘European climate conference’ for 7-8 March, with objectives still unclear

The only certainty at this stage is that the conference will take place in Nantes from 7-8 March and will be "conceived as a mini COP", according to an expert from the ecological transition ministry who spoke at a press conference on Monday (14 February). 

A Climate Chance Europe summit is organised by the Climate Chance Association will occur  in Nantes on 7-8 March. The event will be dedicated to Europe, specifically to “the implementation of the Green Deal” and “the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change at the European level” told a representative on a press conference on Monday (14 February). EURACTIV France reports.

Bringing together representatives of civil society – including associations, companies and local authorities – the summit will host nearly 300 high-level speakers, according to the organisers.

In the same time and same place, a European Climate Conference will take place in the context of French EU Council presidency, with one official positioning the event as a “mini-COP”.

According to the French EU presidency website, “the event will aim to mobilise Europe to meet climate challenges and achieve the European Union’s more ambitious target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (at least 55% by 2030) and becoming climate neutral (by 2050 at the latest)”.

The website indicates the presence of “high-level representatives of EU member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament” as well as “personalities from civil society, the scientific community, companies and local authorities”.

Several names are being mentioned to participate but none have confirmed yet: COP26 President Alok Sharma, Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Framework (UNFCC) and representatives of the Czech Republic and Sweden – countries next in line to take over the EU Council presidency.

The conference will host a succession of round tables and working sessions to address the issue of efforts to mitigate climate change and the issue of climate adaptation, including the role of cities and regions. Moreover, no major decisions or announcements are expected, the main goal being to gather goodwill and coordinate agendas.

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Creating synergies

This summit Climate Chance Europe intends to be “in synergy with the European Climate Conference”, the organisers told a press conference.

“We need this dialogue between the European Commission, the member states and the community of actors who, on a daily basis, develop actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Ronan Dantec, the president of the Climate Chance Association and Senator for Loire-Atlantique.

The dialogue will occur during two plenary sessions shared between the European Climate Conference and the Climate Chance Summit.

The first will focus on the theme “From Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh, from the European Green Deal to territorial climate actions”, while the second will deal with fighting climate change and the just transition. Speakers will also be present at both events.

According to the summit’s organisers and the political adviser of France’s ecological transition ministry, having the two events simultaneously “is an opportunity for cross-fertilisation”.

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[Edited by Frédéric Simon / Alice Taylor]

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