Heard in Europe

The much-awaited COP21 climate conference will start next Monday at Paris-Le Bourget. France’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Laurence Tubiana, is in the hospital with appendicitis. Tubiana should recover quickly enough. Maybe not for the heavy dinner planned on Sunday night at the Elysée, but at least in time to have tea on Monday, when the party really starts with the gathering of 150 heads of state.
What worries French ecologists is Laurent Fabius’ career plans. The Foreign Affair minister has managed to put a face on climate talks, flying all around the planet to repeat the same old jokes about France being the only party to organize COP21, but also trying to insert reluctant countries into the climate discussions. 170 countries have pledged something – and sent their “INDC” to the UN this year.
Even if an agreement is signed, much of the work to be done will remain for 2016, when France officially takes over the COP presidency.

But Fabius seems to be tired of all this. The presidency of French Conseil Constitutionnel seems more appealing, and the place will be free at the end of January. Some say he will retire to this nice, slow and long job – for 9 years – where a bunch of old men, mainly previous presidents, gather once in a while to check the laws.
Candidates to replace Fabius are already queuing. Ségolène Royal, France’s Ecology Minister and already a bit the Queen mother, has stopped trying to steal the show from Laurent Fabius, as she used to do. Elisabeth Guigou, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Assemblée Nationale, is suddenly getting more attention from the media. Bernard Delanoé, previously the mayor of Paris, would also be in the loop.
But of course, let’s not forget climate change is France and Fabius’ priority at the moment.

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