This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Peter Ricketts

Ambassador to France from February 2012 to January 2016.

Part of UK in France

31st March 2014 Paris, France

Climate change is already happening

We’ve just had the publication of a major report by the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) – the UN authorised panel that is the most authoritative source of scientific advice – dealing with the impact of climate change on human beings and our environment.

Written version (continued)

It’s one of two reports, with the panel producing a second one on the policy steps that they recommend in the next couple of months. It contains very important and stark news that climate change is already happening, the results are already evident, and that unless we do something about it quickly it’s going to have a serious impact on human wellbeing, on our food security, on water systems, on the environment.

It’s also going to have a huge impact on coastal communities with sea levels rising – we’ve already seen devastating floods in the UK and Brittany this year, and that may be a foretaste of what lies in store unless we can tackle the problem.

And that’s the other message from this report – that we have to move early if we’re going to have any chance of holding the increase in world temperatures to 2 degrees. France and the UK are very much working together on this, with France preparing to host the major global climate negotiation in Paris in 2015.

At British Embassy Paris we are already preparing for an active year in support of France to make sure that we have a successful global conference.