French Environment Minister to oversee ratification of Paris Agreement, after taking up role vacated by Laurent Fabius
French Environment Minister Segolene Royal has confirmed she is to take over the presidency of the UN climate talks, following the resignation earlier this week of former foreign minister Laurent Fabius.
According to Reuters' reports, Royal told iTele television she had accepted an invitation from French President Francois Hollande to take up the position as President of the COP21 talks, which run until the COP22 summit kicks off in Marrakech in November.
Royal, who has been close to the long-running UN negotiations for several years, will now be tasked with steering the historic Paris Agreement through to ratification.
The agreement is expected to be formally adopted at a signing ceremony in New York in April. It will become officially ratified once at least 55 countries, representing at least 55 per cent of the world's climate emissions, to ratify the treaty.
Royal told iTele she would Royal work to ensure all countries "ratify the agreement, sign this agreement, implement the decisions in their domestic policies to permit a fight against global warming".
Royal will replace Fabius after he last week stepped down as Foreign Minister to take a new position as head of France's constitutional court. He originally intended to continue as president of the UN talks, but resigned this week in response to concerns holding the two positions may lead to a conflict of interest.
Hopes of the Paris Agreement securing early ratification were boosted this week when US climate envoy Todd Stern confirmed President Obama intended to sign the treaty in April, despite the controversial Supreme Court decision to "stay" the administration's Clean Power Plan while legal action against it proceeds.
"We think we are going to prevail in the court but we are going to go ahead and sign the agreement this year - period," he told reporters. "And we are not in any way going to back away from our 2025 targets."