Saturday, April 25, 2015

France Steps Up

Just a few quick notes about the op-ed in yesterday's Times by French foreign minister Laurent Fabius:

1) First point of note: it appeared. The Times has not been front-and-center on the Climate Change issue, but that was Fabius's topic, and the editors gave him a major forum.

2) Fabius was speaking as Chair of the UN Climate Change conference in Paris, that is, he is treating what could be a nominal role as a major responsibility, and putting France forward as a leader in this international effort--a position that may increase the weight of the conference, or at least increase the diplomatic stakes.

3) More substantively, he opens the discussion to adaptation, a touchy subject in that it accepts the premise that 'it's already too late--change is here and we have to deal with it.' Many agree with that premise, though, and adaptation should and will take its place, alongside  abatement and mitigation, as the international conversation advances. I'll come back to those useful terms in a forthcoming post, as I examine philosopher Dale Jamieson's take on the status of this discussion.

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