MANILA (AFP) – French President Francois Hollande will bring two Oscar-winning stars on a two-day visit to the Philippines next week aimed at building momentum for climate talks in Paris, his envoy said Wednesday.
During the visit, Hollande and his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino will call on world leaders to finalise a climate change pact when they meet in December, French ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon told reporters.
Hollande is bringing with him French actress Marion Cotillard and British actor Jeremy Irons, both recipients of Hollywood’s highest acting honour, Garachon said.
He will also bring Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox Church and another French actress, Melanie Laurent, the envoy said.
“All these people will be there to show support for this cause,” he said.
Hollande will arrive in Manila on February 26.
On the same day, he will meet local businessmen for lunch, host a climate change forum and meet with Aquino at the presidential palace.
“The idea is to call for an international mobilisation on climate change… It’s decision time,” ambassador Gilles Garachon said, when asked about a joint statement the two leaders are expected to issue.
On February 27, Hollande will fly to the coastal town of Guiuan, one of the worst-hit areas during 2013’s super typhoon Haiyan.
Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm on record to hit land, left 7,350 people dead or missing after its 230-kilometre per hour winds whipped tsunami-like waves that wiped out entire communities.
During the bitterly fought Lima round of climate talks in December last year, negotiators adopted a format for national pledges to cut Earth-warming greenhouse gases.
In Paris, negotiators hope to cut a deal to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, averting what could be potentially catastrophic damage to the Earth’s climate system by the turn of the century.