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Compliance Study: France

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" We commit ourselves to strong action and anticipate in 1997: ... a successful outcome of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention

Grade: 0

The rating of 0 on the issue of the Environment for France is not to say that this French Government has not addressed the problems on the table in the past year. It has enacted domestic legislation regarding air quality, noise pollution, and the rational and efficient use of energy.

France has also become extremely vocal on the issue of Durable Development. At a recent meeting of the Commission of Durable Development, Mme Corinne LePage, the Minister of the Environment, stated that it is the responsibility of the Governments of the richest countries, also larger users of resources and therefore larger polluters, to adhere to the international standards that they have agreed upon, and to set the example. According to Mme. LePage, France has developed a strategy of durable development, and has consulted numerous experts, both nationally and internationally.

France is expected to bring to the table in Denver the issue of the abusive or uncontrolled use of water. This is to be a priority theme at the 1998 Commission on Durable Development meeting, engaging international development agencies, governments and the private sector.

To date, there appears to be little actually being done by France to fulfill the G7 commitment to forward the Climate Change Convention among others. Raising new issues of concern is of limited significance if the old issues and agreements are not followed through.

Mme. LePage, speaking at the 5th Session of the Commission on Durable Development also highlighted France's intention to use the upcoming Francophone Summit in Hanoi in November 1997, to discuss with the French-speaking countries ways and means of better fulfilling the Rio principles. There is a definite need, in the opinion of the French Government, to more forward from abstract discussions to work programs geared towards action. However true, this is merely rhetoric, and thus does not indicate significant work towards meeting the goal outlined at Lyon. France, therefore, receives a grade of 0 for the environment; a work still in progress.

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