the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: U.S. Cooperation with France on Protecting the Environment, Building a Clean Energy Economy, and Addressing Climate Change

 

Building on our long history of working together to address global challenges, the United States intends to continue to deepen its cooperation with France to combat climate change, promote clean energy, and protect our environment.

Pursing Strong Global Action on Climate Change

In June 2013, President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan, which outlines aggressive steps the United States will take to meet its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent from 2005 levels.  These measures build on a doubling of renewable energy generation, unprecedented increases in vehicle efficiency, and other policies already implemented by this Administration to move the United States onto a low-carbon growth trajectory.  Energy-related U.S. emissions are near their lowest levels since the mid-1990s. 

France is also a leader in addressing climate change, both within the European Union and globally.  France’s economy has one of the most carbon-efficient economies in Europe.  The United States commends France’s progress toward meeting its “20-20-20 goals” to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent (from 1990 levels) by 2020, in addition to raising the share of renewable energy in its domestic energy mix and increasing energy efficiency. 

Climate change is one of the most important and difficult challenges of our generation, and the United States and France are urging all nations to join in the pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement on climate change that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions.  Cooperation in the multilateral context will be essential in reaching an agreement that is consistent with science and includes ambitious mitigation contributions from the world’s major economies and other significant emitters.  The United States and the European Union are both preparing robust contributions to further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 

The United States is working with France on issues related to mobilizing financial and technological support to the most vulnerable and poorest countries.  The promotion of incentives for clean energy must be complemented by reduced incentives for high-carbon energy sources.

Working Together on Clean Energy and Climate Solutions

The United States partners with France on innovative and pragmatic ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through other fora, including the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, the Clean Energy Ministerial, and the Major Economies Forum (MEF).  Our countries are working together to support the launch of a MEF initiative aimed at accelerating action to improve building efficiency in the major economies.

The United States also works closely with France in the context of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), the G8, and the G20 to advance the global conversation forward on climate change and clean energy solutions.  France is also an important partner in the global effort to phase down production and consumption hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) using the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol. 

The United States commends France’s leadership in hosting the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, an award-winning program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. 

Partnering on Civil Nuclear Energy

The United States and France have a long-standing partnership on the development of nuclear energy as a clean, safe, and affordable source of power generation.  Alongside our partners, the United States strives to continuously improve in nuclear safety through apply lessons learned, responsible regulations and severe accident risk reduction -- both within their own programs and internationally.

The United States and France are committed to promote efforts to achieve a global nuclear liability regime based on treaty relations among France, the United States, and other countries that might be affected by a nuclear accident.  The two countries share a commitment to advancing science and technology cooperation in energy, including mutually beneficial collaborations on fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics.

Partnering in Africa to Protect Wildlife and the Environment

The United States partners with France and countries in Africa to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and their parts and wildlife products.  In particular, the United States welcomes collaboration with France in Central Africa to promote regional cooperation and strengthen law enforcement capacity to counter poaching and wildlife trafficking.  Similarly, the United States partners with France as part of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote the conservation and sustainable forest management of one of the world’s largest tropical forests.  Together, we are working with our partners to ensure a healthy future for these forests and wildlife as well as for the people who depend on them for their livelihoods.

Protecting our Seas

As stewards of the world’s largest and second largest maritime exclusive economic zones, the United States has longstanding collaboration with France in the area of maritime affairs, in particular with respect to the creation and management of marine protected areas.