Interview with Mr. A. Grandjean energy and climate change expert, he contributed to the report « Mobilizing finance for the climate » for the President of the French Republic
Khaouja Ahmed: thank you very much Mr. Alain Grandjean for agreeing that we realize this interview with you despite your support plan.
Q1 of LTE magazine: ﬁrst of all could you Mr. Alain Grandjean, give to the Lte magazine readers a brief description of the situation of the global warming. A situation which has been the subject of a long conference organized by our friends at X-Morocco on the 26th May in Casablanca.
Mr. Alain Grandjean
R1: The planet was warming gradually since the middle of the nineteenth century, the average temperature has increased about 1 degree Celsius. Climate is disrupted and the consequences were visible in all regions of the world: important heatwave episodes, huge ﬁres, rains and ﬂoods, rise of waters, marine submergence, shifting of the seasons and agricultural production, etc. We know the main cause of this climate change: are emissions of anthropogenic origin of greenhouse gas (GHG) Emissions, such as carbon dioxide or methane. We issue today every year about 50 billion tons (in equivalent CO2). The worst is yet to come if we do not change the current trajectory, which could lead to increases in temperature of 3 to 6 degrees by the end of the century. Knowing that the temperature increased by 5 degrees since the last glacial period. Therefore, it is enough to change the climate era. The impact would be devastating for both, mankind and ecosystems
Q2 – The Conference of the 21th parties (or COP21) about the climate held in Paris in 2015 has set among other objectives a limitation of global warming between 1.5 ° C and 2 ° C by 2100. Can we achieve these objectives knowing that the politicians and nature defenders don’t have the same sense of time. Indeed the time of democracy is a time in the short term, usually connected with the elections.
R2 – These goals are critical; If we don’t reach them the consequences for billions of humans beings are going to be tragic, as for the global economy. The economy cannot thrive on a planet with an atmosphere that is out of adjustment. The investments to make to adapt will be considerable but will be purely defensive and they won’t create value. These effects are becoming visible and they require, from now on, a strong implication of States like for
exemple: Canada. The admittedly short time that politicians have, will be overtaken by the acceleration of extreme events. However, solutions to mitigate climate change existe, they generate jobs and are source of innovations. Plus, this matter can be beneﬁcial for politicians since defending this great cause can impact their notoriety.
Q3 – How to make the achievement of those objectives mandatory in the context of a competitive environment. Especially at a time where some technological applications resulting from modern time are consumed in a time that is largely lower than the time it takes to reduce their pollutant upstream and downstream effects.
R3 – The climate is a global public good; its preservation requires international cooperation as there are in other areas. Think for example about the ﬁght against epidemics where the OMS played a key role or how the destruction of the ozone layer was stopped, as soon as we heard that it was due to chemicals (chloroﬂuorocarbons). International cooperation on the climate issue produces effects: every country committed to control and reduce their GHG emissions. International solidarity mechanisms are currently being negotiated. But, indeed, it is clear that the ecological crisis that we are experiencing, requires a questioning of the consumerist model that dominates in the West. We can not indeﬁnitely ﬁght to consume more without taking into account the fact that the planet is « dying ». If the emulation was good in economic, it should be at the service of innovation that allows simultaneously to improve the fate of everyone and to reduce the destruction of natural resources.
Q4- From your point of view, Mr. Alain, what will be the stakes of the COP 22 scheduled in November 2016 in Marrakech in Morocco?
R4 – the COP22 must make operational the decisions taken in Paris in December 2015. It must advance the important discussion for the countries of the South of funding for adaptation to current climate change and which will be detrimental to the most vulnerable countries, in all scenarios. The countries of the North took the commitment of bringing to the countries of the South every year from 2020, $ 100 billion. The management of these funds and the share of their allocation to adaptation should be speciﬁed. Also to continue and do see advances in « agenda of solutions », born in Lima and ampliﬁed in Paris. The world must be convinced that there are solutions to the problem, that it is not too late. From this point of view the very strong commitment of Morocco in the ﬁeld of renewable energy can provide a strong step forward.
Remember that the goal of the international solar Alliance launched at COP21 to reach 1 000 gigawatts installed by 2030 to 1,000 billion dollars of investment.
Q5 – We know that some countries deploy major efforts to move towards a greener world. But most of them are just pretending to do so. Should we not invent other politico-economic models or other indicators that incorporate a protecting dimension of our ecosystem.
R5- At the Summit on sustainable development, in New York on 25th September 2015, the UN Member States have adopted a new sustainable development program, which includes a set of 17 global goals to end poverty, combat inequality and injustice, and to deal with climate change by 2030. These objectives should be taken seriously by all leaders of the world, seen as more important than the GDP growth, that does not make sense if these targets are not met. Then it should be explore in each country and at the same time followed by major international bodies (the G20, IMF, multilateral banks, and all coordination instances of emerging and developed countries).
Q6 – What do you think of the French philosopher quotation from Mr. Michel SERRES, taken from his book « the natural contract ‘:If there is a physical pollution, which exposes the climate at risk time, there is a second, invisible, which endangers the time that passes and runs, cultural pollution. Without ﬁghting against the second, we will fail in the ﬁrst ﬁght. ?
R6 – Indeed we we will not emerge from this crisis without questioning the culture that is the deep source. » science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul » said Rabelais. We also see, coming here and there in the world, the ‘cultural revolution’, often it comes at the local level. Many initiatives are born that are intended to increase the real-time sharing and reduce material consumption: less goods, more links. But this does not concern the inhabitants of our planet who live in poverty and where our common moral imperative is to help them out. And if you think that the planet will be more than 9 billion by 2050 (in 35 years, it is very short), unfortunately we cannot bet on the cultural change of the inhabitants, which will take two or three generations at least. The elites of the world must take responsibility, public opinions advanced in all countries must pressure. The future of the planet and its inhabitants is now.
LTE Magazine: Thank you very much Mr. Alain Grand jean.