COP21: France to invest billions in West African renewables projects

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President Francois Hollande has announced that France will spend €2 billion on renewable energy projects in Africa over the next five years.

Speaking at COP21 on day two of the summit, Hollande revealed plans to double his country’s investments in wind, solar and hydropower in African countries, mostly in former French colonies, between 2016 and 2020.

Developing countries in Africa are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, yet their contributions to the emissions causing the problem are minimal. The French president said: “The world, and in particular the developed world, owes the African continent an environmental debt.”

Forest

Tuesday also saw a lot of conversation around the subject of trees and forests. Prince Charles spoke at the conference and appealed to politicans and corporations to better protect the world’s forest.

“It’s very simple. We must save our forests. There is no Plan B to tackle climate change without them. We must do all that we can to support the communities that live within forests. For indigenous peoples, this is a question of the proper safeguarding of their reserves, traditions and cultures,” he said.

According to a Nature Geoscience study, the loss of forests accounts for around 12 per cent of carbon emissions caused by human activity, the second biggest source after burning fossil fuels.

There was some progress at COP, as a coalition of corporations, including Unilever, revealed a plan to stabilise forest cover by 2030, and restore cover to 1990 levels by 2050.

Prince Charles also commended a 17-country declaration on the importance of the role of forests to climate and development.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Attaway from Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

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