MANILA (AFP) – French President Francois Hollande called Thursday for a climate change “alliance” with the Philippines that could spur similar co-operation between rich and poor nations at a crucial UN summit.
Hollande made the appeal shortly after landing in the Philippines with two of France’s leading actresses for a trip aimed primarily at mobilising global action in the fight against global warming.
“We have a duty to act together and that’s why I came here to the Philippines, to launch an appeal, to seal an alliance,” Hollande told a business forum.
The two-day trip, the first by a French head of state to the Philippines, is part of Hollande’s drive to build diplomatic momentum ahead of the United Nations’ summit in Paris in December.
He said an alliance with the Philippines could be a model of co-operation between traditionally opposed rich and poor nations as they try to seal a global deal on climate change, but gave no specifics.
Hollande will meet with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday evening, when they are expected to jointly appeal for world leaders to ensure that the Paris talks are a success.
Hollande had previously said he was determined to “leave a mark” on history by brokering an historic pact at the summit that would save the world from the catastrophic impact of climate change.
The Philippines is seen as a frontline state in the battle, as every year it is relentlessly battered by storms that scientists say may be becoming stronger because of global warming.