French press review 2 December 2015


Cop21 Conference down to the wire over climate funds; Bill Gates shows the way to renewable energy funding with 24,5 billion euros package; Mark Zuckerberg donates 99 per cent of Facebook assets to make the world a happy and healthy place for his newborn daughter Maxima and other children; and a giant leap in President Hollande's popularity ratings at last, as he basks in his new "war leader" image. 


We start with tit bits from the Cop21 Summit here in Paris with most of the national dailies rolling out thematic packages on the reportorial questions which will determine the success or failure of the watershed gathering. For Le Monde, after the pragmatic speeches made by world leaders on Monday, the focus now is clearly about the delicate issue of resources needed to save the Planet.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates takes the centre stage in the paper’s supplement after he pledged 24,5 billion euros to support the funding of renewable or clean energy. Under Le Monde’s spotlight is a plan to tackle the climate challenge in Africa, the projected so-called “grand green wall to restore drying up Lake Chad and to promote green energy in the continent which is responsible for only 4 per cent of the global green house gas emissions. France on Monday pledged 2 billion euros for the project between now and 2020.

L’Humanité says the question of funding has become a hide and seeks matter at the summit, with the financial promises of rich nations to help poor countries transformed into an issue of discord at the negotiations.

The Communist party daily recalls that during the Copenhagen summit in 2009 rich nations pledged 100 billion dollars to fund climate projects but unfortunately as it explains 62 billion which had been raised by 2014, had instead been made available in the form of loans and grants for projects that had nothing to do with renewable energy and sustainable development.

For L’Humanité there needs to be a redefinition of climate funding so that countries like Ethiopia which are spending 15 percent of their GDP on green energy can spend the resources on other national priorities.

According to Le Monde, the Summit is facing a near rebellion by 30 countries grouped under the Climate Vulnerable Forum with 13 more on the verge of joining them which have refused to be sacrificed under the alter of compromise.

Le Monde says that the group issued a declaration on Monday calling on the international community to extend the objective of limiting global warming to at least 1.3 degrees Celsius by 2100. Le Monde says the group is also clamouring for a total 100 percent de-carbonization of renewable energy by 2050 and a reduction of green house emissions by between 70 and 95 percent over the same deadline so as to facilitate total elimination by 2060 and 2080.

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On its part Le Figaro says it isn’t sure that the beautiful optimism displayed at the opening of the summit on Monday will last the life time of roses.

The right-wing publication says that there are up to 200 options and 1200 problematic phrases at the centre of the negotiations as we speak.

One of them concerns the sticking issues hinges on how to protect the world’s forests, especially understanding how to make trees drought-resistant so as to protect forests which are one of the most dependable reserves of carbons.

Le Parisien zooms in on the pledge by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to give away his fortune to make the world a "better place" for his new born daughter Maxima and others.

In a letter to Maxima posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan said they were going to give away 99 percent of their company shares during their lives in an effort to make a happy and healthy world.

The fortune represents an estimated 45 billion dollars, after-tax proceeds and the sales of shares, and he explains that the initial focus of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities."

Zuckerberg who is aged 31 had early on added his name to a cream of billionaires who have taken a Giving Pledge to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Names on the pledge include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison and IAC/InterActiveCorp powerhouse Barry Diller.

A month earlier, Zuckerberg and his doctor wife revealed plans to start a private school in a hardscrabble Silicon Valley town, mixing education with health care. Beginning with the New Year, dads working full-time for Facebook anywhere in the world will have the option of taking four months' paid leave.

The change, effective January 1, essentially raises parental leave time for dads and non-custodial same-sex partners from four weeks to four months. Under the package Facebook also gives a 4,000 bonus for parents to help meet the needs of new babies. The Facebook boss also plans to take two months' paternity leave to be a dad, according to Le Parisien.

"Islamic State and the Libyan contagion", is the top story in today's Libération. The left-leaning paper published the findings of its investigations into how the Sahel country has becme lynchpin of the jihadist organization since the fall of the veteran strongman Mouamar Kadhafi and the resulting destabilization of the  country by tribal conflicts.

And the sudden surge in the ratings of French President François Hollande took the papers by surprise, especially the conservative Le Figaro which leads the press in reporting the facelift of the Socialist leader.

The Ifop/Fiducial for Paris Match and Sud Radio survey published on Tuesday found out that Monsieur Hollande zoomed up to 50 per cent, the best since 2012, following his hardline response against jihadists after the Paris attacks.  That's according to Le Figaro, represents a 20 points rebound in a single month. The right-wing publication can't beleive its eyes as it found out that 9 per cent of conservative voters now trust the President as opposed to just 3 percent since his election.

The poll showed 62 per cent of French people polled believe Hollande "defends France's interests abroad well", while 38 percent believe he "tells the truth" to his electorate.
Another 38 percent feel the president "is close to the concerns of the French", while only 28 percent want him to be re-elected in 2017
The latest poll results were published just five days before the first round in a regional vote that is widely seen as a litmus test of the 2017 general election. Le Figaro holds that it doesn't expect the surge to affect the outcome of the vote in which the far-right National Front for the very first time appears set to win at least two regions.

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