Statement of French President François Hollande at the Launch of the Manila Call to Action

The appeal has been launched and please allow me to thank the Senator, as well as the French actress Marion Cotillard, for reading it.
We are here together, political leaders, representatives of major NGOs, academics, cultural figures, to convince the world to mobilize the public opinion. And please allow me to thank Nicolas Hulot for taking this initiative because if we want to succeed in December, the diplomats must be at their best, of course they are. We will also lead the UN bodies to support that process, and they are ready to do so.
We will also need to have the necessary discussions with the world leaders so that commitments are made, but we will also, and before all, need the public opinion to mobilize and this is the purpose of this appeal – an appeal being launched here in Manila.
In the eyes of the world, Manila is a symbol of suffering and hope. Suffering is that which unfortunately was the suffering of the victims of typhoons, tsunamis, disasters, earthquakes – hundreds and thousands of Filipinos were displaced. The suffering is also that threatening us in the case of the rise of the sea level given the intensity and the number of storms as well. Nonetheless, there is hope here in Manila. The hope of a people which is resisting, fighting, and which is rising given the challenge in getting organized.
And this is why we wanted to do it in Manila. We wanted the appeal to be launched here.
What is its purpose? Its meaning? It is thought that in Paris, on the occasion of that climate conference, we can reach a comprehensive and binding agreement. Country by country, in order to make sure that the world will not face global warming that would lead to even worse disasters than the ones we’ve been facing.
And we needed a voice like yours, President Aquino, the voice I heard on the occasion of international summits, in the UN when you said that we could all do something, play our role, do our part. We needed other voices as well, multiple voices, those we’re hearing here. We needed the voice of France because France, of course it is both a duty and an honor, France knows when it is necessary to do so, face up to its responsibilities, as we’ve shown in other circumstances, facing other challenges.
So what is now the purpose of this appeal? It is an appeal for justice. The Manila appeal is for the world to be more firm between developed countries and fragile ones, between rich countries and poor ones, between generations as well. Those who had all their time to extract resources from the planet and who now have a duty – the duty to act so that their children, their grandchildren as well, can simply live on this planet.
Justice is also to make sure that the progress of science, the economy, the technology, everything is at the service of the protection, prevention, everything rather than the destruction of our planet. This is the reason that an alliance must be found between all the forces that are the states, as well as economic forces, that of NGOs, cultural forces, so that we can make this appeal live.
This appeal is also that of imagination, and through the Green Fund and the innovating financing, everything that we can do to mobilize resources and allocate them, put them at the service of development. The Manila appeal is an appeal for invention because climate change means that we have a duty, but it is also an opportunity because it will allow us to invent a new form of growth, a green growth.
We will be better. Better, because we have no alternative. Better for renewable energies, better at storing energy, better to organize our cities or transport, better at imagining carbon free technology, organizing our taxes, better as well at organizing competition between companies or businesses with a carbon price. And this is the purpose of the agenda of solutions that will translate our inventions.
Lastly, the appeal of Manila is for a new world because what is at stake is a new form of development, more firm, more respectful, a world where we can say to ourselves that what we are doing is useful, a world where each and every country will face up to its responsibilities depending on its capacities, a world with a new form of solidarity between wealthy and emerging countries.
Many at some point in their political approach have considered a new world, but they did not necessarily build a better world, and what we have in mind is a world where we can live that is human, and it is on this that we can agree.
As Levi Strauss was saying, the rainbow of human cultures will end up sinking in the vacuum generated by our fury. So we have to put an end to this fury and put in the sky the rainbow of human cultures. This new world, we can shape it over the next 300 days before we meet in Paris, and I’m calling upon all the heads of state and governments to do their utmost so that an agreement can be found. I’m launching an appeal for the citizens, for the youth, as well as the economic stakeholders, as well as academics, artists everyone to commit themselves, to get organized, so that we can rise to the challenge to defend this cause on which we can all agree.
There’s those who watch history happen, and those who are making it. And today, we have to write history. This is what we will be doing in Paris in 300 days.
Thank you, Mr. President.