Where we stand
In addition to the founding documents that define our goals as an association, our values and our operational themes, we have been producing "position papers" since 2012. These set out GERES positioning or stance on general topics linked with current events and our development work.
Based on collective reflection that draws on field experience and feedback, ongoing research and trials aimed at developing large-scale solutions, position papers are written whenever GERES sees the need to make its position clear on any given theme.
Some elements of analysis of the Paris Agreement by Vanessa Laubin, Renaud Bettin and Antoine Martin-Chave.
During the last plenary session late on the Saturday, we could feel that mixture of feverishness, fatigue and emotion leading most of the diplomats present to speak of a "historic" moment, mainly due to the strength of French diplomacy. We also had the feeling that everyone was fooling themselves to some extent.
The development of decentralised solar hybrid power stations offers new opportunities to improve rural access to electricity. If the benefits of solar are harnessed, the terms of access and quality of electricity supply can almost match national grids: 24-hour availability with high power handling capability. This is where rural micro-businesses – productive customers – come in.
We call for smallholder family farmers to be placed at the heart of the UNFCCC discussions on farming. Based on the IPCC’s latest report, we also believe that those discussions should deal with food security, as well, especially so as to address the challenges that climate imbalances pose for the right to food.
In March this year the French Minister of Agriculture presented the ‘4 per 1000’ initiative at the Climate-Smart Agriculture conference in Montpellier. A brochure2 published by the ministry presents an initiative that puts agriculture at the heart of climate issues, not only as the sector most affected by climate change and as a producer of greenhouse gasses, but also as a solution in terms of mitigation. It also set the ‘4 per 1000’ initiative within the Agenda of Solutions3 promoted by the French and Peruvian presidencies of the COP20 and 21 and the Secretary General of the United Nations, despite the uncertainties surrounding it at this stage.
Carbon pricing is likely to be one of the ingredients of the climate agreement negotiated during COP21. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol launched the festivities via an international CO2 emission allowance trading system. It gave rise to an international carbon price which serves as a reference today. Yet carbon has several prices and limiting a ton of CO2 simply to a price defined by a market means that its social value is overlooked.