High Council for the Climate: it's getting organized!

On 27 November last, the President of the Republic installed the High Council for the Climate. Composed of twelve scientific, economists, engineers and experts, it is responsible for providing an independent perspective on the Government's climate policy. This Wednesday, May 15, 2019, the decree formalizes the High Council for Climate (HCC), specifying its composition and the modalities of its operation. An independent body reporting to the Prime Minister, its mission is to strengthen the governance of climate policy in France.
Chis new institution in charge of monitoring French policy in the fight against global warming has been officially installed by the French government. decree, published in the Journal Officiel on May 15, 2010.s, detailing its organization and operating procedures.
In addition to its Chair, the HCC includes at most twelve membersThey are appointed for a term of five years, renewable once. The HCC will release its first report on compliance with the greenhouse gas emissions reduction trajectory on June 26.
Its role is to assess whether it is sufficient with regard to France's commitment in the Paris Agreement, France's European commitments, France's commitment to carbon neutrality in 2050, while taking into account the economic and social sustainability of the transition as well as sovereignty issues. Following the example of the organization chosen in Great Britain with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the extension to the issues of adaptation to climate change could be dealt with in a second phase by a sub-committee attached to the HCAC.
"At a time when the consequences of climate change are increasingly being felt, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is stagnating in France. This calls for in-depth reflection on the policies and measures put in place to ensure the reduction of emissions, particularly in the transport and building sectors", said Corinne Le Quéré, President of the HCC, adding that "Responding to climate change requires a comprehensive and effective action plan. The stakes are high. I hope that our work can help the government implement the actions necessary for an ambitious, fair and equitable ecological transition. »

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Olivier Fontan, new Executive Director of the HCC

Olivier Fontan was appointed Executive Director of the High Climate Council in June. A diplomat since 1997, he is currently head of the Sub-Directorate for Environment and Climate at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Appointed Executive Director of the High Council for Climate, Olivier Fontan has been involved in most of the major advances made on the climate at the international level in recent years: COP20 at COP24, the negotiation of the Paris agreement in 2015 within the French team and the preparation of the first One planet summit. He led the French delegation to the IPCC plenaries, notably for the approval of the +1.5°C report, and to the IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), which has just published its first major report on the state of biodiversity.
Finally, it participated in the development of the climate and biodiversity plans for 2017 and 2018. This experience has enabled him to develop an integral approach to international commitments, public policies and their scientific foundations on the climate crisis, but also on all related environmental issues.

How is the High Climate Council organised?

The High Climate Council is an independent body reporting to the Prime Minister, whose members may not "seek or receive any instructions from the Government or any other public or private person" in the performance of their duties. These members are chosen for their scientific, technical and economic expertise in the field of climate science and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The High Council for the Climate issues an annual report on compliance with the greenhouse gas emissions reduction path, the effectiveness of public policies, and the socio-economic and environmental impact of these public policies.
The decree also stipulates that "the follow-up given by the Government to this report shall be presented to Parliament and the Economic, Social and Environmental Council within six months of its submission".
The decree states that the High Council for Climate has its own budget. "Its president decides on the use of the funds necessary to accomplish its missions. The amount of the budget, set outside the decree, is 1.2 million euros per year. »
"The High Council has a secretariat which, under the authority of its President, ensures the follow-up and organization of its work". "To carry out its tasks, the High Council may request the support of the relevant government departments responsible for climate issues, with their agreement. It may also commission work or studies from experts or bodies outside the administration. It is hosted by France Stratégie and will be able to rely on its Sustainable and Digital Development department.
In addition, the High Climate Council will make all its opinions and reports available on its website. Finally, the Ministries of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Economy and Finance, Higher Education and Agriculture are responsible for the proper implementation of the decree, obviously within the limits of their respective fields.

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