On 23 October the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) co-organised a seminar entitled Will the Climate Conference keep its promises? The seminar was organised by the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Union of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions of the Francophone Member States and governments (UCESIF), the Union of Economic and Social Councils of Africa (UESA) and the World Forum for a Responsible Economy, in preparation for COP21.
In his introductory speech EESC-President Georges Dassis pointed to the dangers of climate change, which not only has repercussions on the environment and nature, but also on people's daily lives, particularly in developing countries. "We need a common global effort involving all stakeholders and concerned people to avert this threat. Decision makers must take into account that it is not governments who mobilise most strongly around this topic, but the civil society at large", he stated. "We, as representatives of organised civil society expect an agreement not only to be signed by all parties, but to be respected and implemented. We also need to ensure a fair and balanced repartition of burdens in our societies." He therefore reminded heads of States and governments, especially in the developed world, of their responsibility and obligation to find an ambitious and sustainable solution at the COP21 in Paris in December this year.
The French ESC's network has already organized two seminars – one on climate change and agriculture and the other on challenges for developing countries. The goal of these seminars is to express with one voice the fears and hopes of civil society and turn them into specific recommendations.