Former French Foreign Minister and President of the 2015 Paris Climate Change negotiations (COP21), Laurent Fabius, was designated UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Patron on Environmental Governance on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the 23rd Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.
Lauded for his masterful negotiating skills, Fabius brought together 195 countries to sign the first universal agreement in the history of climate negotiations at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21). He has continued to channel his decades of political expertise into championing the protection of the environment, by initiating and now promoting the project of a Global Pact for the Environment, which would see the first universal legal framework for environmental protection.
“The tenacity and skills Laurent Fabius displayed in conducting the incredibly challenging negotiations that led to the Paris Accord is precisely what is needed to bring governments together to act for future generations,” head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, says.
“Given the rising threats that climate change, biodiversity loss, soil erosion and desertification, and increasing pollution pose to our environment and human health, it is essential the world focuses on how we can fight for a sustainable future as a global community.”
As an honorary UN Environment Patron on Environmental Governance, Fabius adds unrivalled experience and diplomatic weight to the push for better international environmental consensus and policies, adds the UN.
“UN Environment is recognised as a dynamic and effective institution for meeting the challenges of climate change and environmental protection,” Fabius says, adding:
“The Paris Agreement was a historic leap forward but, today, the red alert is still on. We must act massively, we must act immediately. In this difficult context, Erik Solheim convinced me that I could be usefully involved in UN Environment on a volunteer basis, especially by contributing to the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment in the years to come. It is a title that I am honoured to receive.”
Fabius will be attending this year’s UN Environment Assembly where environmental governance will be a key element of the conference. Holding in Nairobi, Kenya from December 4 to 6, the Assembly brings together heads of state and ministers from all 193 member states of the United Nations to discuss how to finally beat pollution and move toward a pollution-free planet.
Fabius is currently the President of France’s Constitutional Council.