French Special Envoy for the environment arrives in Manila, affirms French support for Typhoon Yolanda victims

The Special Envoy of the President of the French Republic for the Protection of the Planet, Nicolas Hulot, arrived in the Philippines on January 20, Tuesday, to start his 5-day visit to the country.

On Wednesday, he met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. He is also set to meet with Climate Change Commissioner Lucille Sering and Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources Chairperson Sen. Loren Legarda on Thursday and with Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday. Meetings have also been organized with civil society groups, multilateral organizations, and members of the academe.

In reassuring France’s solidarity with those affected by Supertyphoon Yolanda in November 2013, Mr. Hulot travels to Cebu, Tacloban, and Guiuan this weekend to meet local government officials and NGOs working on the ground, as well as to see certain ongoing rehabilition projects.

This visit comes before French President François Hollande’s state visit to the Philippines in the first quarter of the year.

Appointed by President Hollande in 2012, Mr. Hulot’s mission as the Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet is to reach out to different communities on energy and climate challenges and promote the implementation of innovative policies to address these challenges, to inform the public and contribute to the preparations for the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), and to raise the interest of public opinion, key actors and world leaders on environmental issues.

COP21, which takes place in December, will be crucial as countries from all over the world must agree on an ambitious, binding agreement to limit global warming to below 2°C.