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Written Statement - Climate Change –World Summit Climate & Territories Lyon July 2015

Carl Sargeant AM, Minister for Natural Resources

On the 1st and 2nd of July, I attended a World Summit on Climate Change in Lyon, France.  

The Summit was a key international conference on Climate Change in the lead-up to the crucial United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December 2015.  It brought together states and regional governments along with representatives from cities, local governments and civil society from across the world.

At the Summit, I had the opportunity to address the formal plenary session and Wales was featured as an international exemplar in one of the main workshop sessions for our legislation in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, Planning Act and Environment Bill and how it integrates and delivers on key UN priorities in relation to Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity.  

A busy schedule included an event on Global Climate Leadership at which I was part of the Panel along with other Ministers from leading states and regions, chaired by Maroš Sefcovic Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union. It also included a meeting of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, which covers 331 million people and 11% of global GDP.  The meeting was attended by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Laurence Tubiana, French Special Representative for COP21, who gave an update on the progress of the UN negotiations and outline for Paris.

In addition, I had a series of bilateral meetings with Ministers from partner states and regional governments in order to share information on progress and key policies. This builds on our international collaboration through initiatives like the Global Compact of States and Regions and the Global Memorandum on Climate Leadership of which we are a founding signatory.  

Overall, the Summit was a successful opportunity to further highlight the action we are taking on climate change, build on Wales’ reputation as an international exemplar on sustainable development and highlight the significant contribution that we and partner states and regions are making - both in tackling climate change and accelerating green growth – in order to add to the momentum for a Paris agreement.  

Acknowledging the leadership showcased at the conference, the recognition by President Hollande in his keynote speech to the Summit of the importance of the contribution from states, regions and cities to Paris is a positive step forward.  The Summit declaration, signed by governments and organisations representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population making it the most widely supported declaration ever presented, is a further illustration of the scale of the positive momentum.

As set out in our Programme for Government, we are committed to playing our full part in terms of both the action we take on climate change and in contributing fully to the international discussions and the achievement of a new global agreement.  I will therefore be continuing to actively engage in what is a historic opportunity to achieve a global agreement that will frame the global economy and help to reduce inequality going forward.  

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.