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France

Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning (FR0027)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France, First Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development; Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; National Commission for Public Debate

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Environment and Climate, Infrastructure & Transport, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: France End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, France Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

STAKES The COP21 French chairmanship will aim to be exemplary in listening to civil society. The strong mobilization of citizens and non-governmental actors (local and regional authorities, private sector, NGOs, scientists, etc.,) in the action for climate is a priority. Transparency on the preparation of the Conference and in its implementation is a corollary of civil society’s commitment.

CONTEXT & AIM
In December 2014, the General secretariat in charge of preparing and organizing the COP21 launched a consultation intended for all representatives of groups constituted from civil society. This consultation gathered opinions and recommendations concerning the implementation of the area dedicated to civil society on the Le Bourget site, the overall organization of the event and its programming. This initiative, which closed in January 2015 and was the first in the history of the preparation of a COP, enabled the collection, far in advance, of suggestions from the nine groups of “observers” that were constituted as well as from the 117 organizations that took part in this consultation, including numerous international groups and coalitions (environmental and international solidarity NGOs and the business sector). A "village" dedicated to civil society will thus be held at Le Bourget. It will be accessible without accreditation, in contrast to the official negotiation enclosures. Regular meetings will be organized with the representatives of civil society (NGOs, companies, unions…) in order to continue to gather all opinions and incorporate all good will participation to the success of the conference. Furthermore, it is proposed to give greater visibility to the numerous initiatives run by civil society and non-governmental players, through a list of “COP21 certified” projects on the Conference's site. Run by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the global public debate, involving 75 countries on the same day, on 6 June 2015, was also the greatest citizens' consultation ever carried out on climate and energy. This event enabled more than 10,000 citizens throughout the entire world to seek information, discuss, reach an informed opinion and give their views on the five key subjects of the negotiations in the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). First elements contribute to provide transparency on the preparation of the conference and the progress of negotiations: - The list of all observers accepted by the United Nations is accessible on the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (nongovernmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations)
- The timetable of climate events has been put online on the COP21 website
- A report on the content of the main international meetings on the topics of the environment and sustainable development is accessible via the Earth Negotiations Bulletin produced by the Reporting Services of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development funded the French translation
- The guide to information for civil society is available on the COP21 site (French version)
This process of transparency and dialogue with civil society will be extended after the COP21 Conference.

ROADMAP
• Bring together civil society’s representatives before each informal negotiating meeting
o A first meeting was organized before the informal session on climate negotiations on 6-8 May 2015, with civil society (French and international NGOs, representatives of unions at the UN…) in order to present the work and the state of progress of negotiations and take part in the discussion
o New meetings will take place alongside the forthcoming negotiation sessions
• Create a participatory platform to mobilize civil society in preparation for COP 21, which may be extended to other consultations
o Between June and November 2015, draft a first version, with the aim of:
• raising awareness of environmental dialogue and the main stakes of the energy transition
• organize a network involving inhabitants, action groups, project holders, companies, local authorities and stakeholders
• facilitate contacts and cooperation between the various players in environmental e-citizenship, including through online exchanges
• create decentralized cooperation and develop a community of players in environmental e-citizenship
• collect the suggestions and opinions of Internet users to allow the collaborative listing of local initiatives and constitute a broad database
o Develop of a second version of the platform in order to ensure that citizens' mobilization lasts beyond COP 21. This second version could be extended further to support future citizens' consultations led by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
• Continue the consultation on climate issues in order to follow up on from the global citizens' debate on 6 June 2015, which assembled more than 10,000 citizens from 75 countries

IRM End of Term Status Summary

24. Involve civil society in the COP21 conference and promote transparency regarding the agenda and negotiations

Commitment Text:

ROADMAP

· Bring together civil society's representatives before each informal negotiating meeting

A first meeting was organized before the informal session on climate negotiations on 6-8 May 2015, with civil society (French and international NGOs, representatives of unions at the UN…) in order to present the work and the state of progress of negotiations and take part in the discussion

New meetings will take place alongside the forthcoming negotiation sessions

· Create a participatory platform to mobilize civil society in preparation for COP 21, which may be extended to other consultations

Between June and November 2015, draft a first version, with the aim of:

§ raising awareness of environmental dialogue and the main stakes of the energy transition

§ organize a network involving inhabitants, action groups, project holders, companies, local authorities and stakeholders

§ facilitate contacts and cooperation between the various players in environmental e-citizenship, including through online exchanges

§ create decentralized cooperation and develop a community of players in environmental e-citizenship

§ collect the suggestions and opinions of Internet users to allow the collaborative listing of local initiatives and constitute a broad database

Develop of a second version of the platform in order to ensure that citizens' mobilization lasts beyond COP 21. This second version could be extended further to support future citizens' consultations led by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

· Continue the consultation on climate issues in order to follow up on from the global citizens' debate on 6 June 2015, which assembled more than 10,000 citizens from 75 countries

Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text please see France's national action plan: https://bit.ly/2MTYhsR.

Responsible Institutions: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development; Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; National Commission for Public Debate

Supporting Institution(s): N/A

Start Date:Not Specified

End Date:Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to mobilise civil society for COP21 by, among other tools, an online platform. The commitment was included in the action plan in light of the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), hosted and chaired in Paris in December 2015. The aim of this conference was to achieve a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Given the high interest of civil society in previous COPs and the Paris Agreement, climate activists were already mobilised for COP21. Civil society, both French and international, had been preparing for the conference, both through offline and online engagement. This commitment added little to the already ongoing massive mobilisation efforts by civil society. Commitment activities contained no details on how many meetings were planned, which civil society representatives would be invited, or what mechanisms would be used to sustain citizens' engagement beyond COP21.

Status

Midterm: Limited

Completion of this commitment was limited at the midterm. A meeting with representatives of civil society took place in an informal consultation session on 15-16 April 2016 in Paris to discuss how future informal meetings with civil society should be held at COPs. Participants agreed on the process for organising these meetings including: “agreeing on a guidance document as a base to conduct the informal meetings; starting the informal meetings process as early as possible ahead of the COP conference; utilizing various inputs and submissions; and making sure those inputs are incorporated into the negotiations.”

In the run-up to the conference, and independent of the government, French and international civil society organised numerous debates and initiatives to be held in and around Paris during the two weeks of COP21. At no point was the government involved in the above activities. The terror attacks that occurred in Paris of November 2015 led to a State of Emergency that continued during COP21 and restricted public protests, including the Climate March, and obstructed civil society engagement in COP21 activities.  

The Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy created a participatory platform to mobilise civil society in preparation for COP 21. The platform can be used by citizens to offer ideas and comments on environmental issues but the platform was not used for input on the Bill on Biodiversity; a separate platform was used for this purpose between 21 December 2015 and 8 January 2016. Results of conversations from this platform were not available and the development of the second version of the platform was not started during the first year of implementation.

End of Term: Limited

Completion of this commitment is still coded as limited at the end of term. The government self-assessment marks the commitment as completed but does not provide any evidence of new activities being implemented since the midterm assessment. Most activities of this commitment relate to COP21 and were thus bound to be achieved in the first year of implementation.

Decree n° 2016-1060, issued 3 August 2016, concerns access to information and public participation in decision-making on environmental issues. Implementing measures are specified in Decree n° 2017-626 issued 25 April 2017 and provide new tools for civil society to participate in the elaboration of environmental policies, clarify the procedures of public consultations, establish what documents should be shared beforehand, and largely digitalize public consultations to facilitate access.

During the first year of implementation, the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) organised a debate and presented its results at COP21. In order to continue the debate, the CNDP held a session during the OGP Summit in Paris in December 2016 on the topic “How to involve citizens in meeting the commitments made by governments in the Paris Agreement?' The IRM researcher did not find any public information on the outcomes of this session.

The IRM researcher found no public information on the development of a second version of a platform facilitating citizen participation in environmental policy.

In the second year of implementation, the government self-assessment mentions that, after consulting public and relevant stakeholders, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Sea (MEEM) published a public participation charter with four articles: Article 1 states that public participation requires a clear and shared framework; Article 2 adds the requirement of a constructive mind-set; Article 3 states that such participation requires the government to seek and facilitate a wide mobilisation; and Article 4 that public participation should encourage citizens' power of initiative.[Note172: The charter is available here: https://www.ecologique-solidaire.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/Charte_participation_public.pdf (accessed 9 Oct. 2017).]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

This commitment first and foremost concerned the preparation for COP21 and the negotiations during that conference. Given that the commitment is context-bound, it did not have the ambition to change long-term government practices. However, the activities undertaken during COP21 could be said to create a precedent for including the public in international negotiations. None of the activities undertaken in the framework of this commitment led to more or better information disclosed to the public. As such, this commitment did not open government regarding access to information.

Public consultation has increased on environmental issues due to a favourable legal framework. MEEM developed a public consultation website in 2013 following Law n° 2012-1460, adopted 27 December 2012, on public participation. The website is still actively used but cannot be considered in the IRM coding since it was developed prior to the action plan. Except for the public participation charter, the IRM researcher found no new tools or platforms to encourage public participation on environmental policy. Decrees n° 2016-1060 and n° 2017-626 facilitate public consultation and coordinate action on environmental issues but the measures are yet to be implemented.

Carried Forward?

This commitment was carried over to the next action plan. In the new action plan, the commitment focuses on including public contributions in the monitoring and evaluation of the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change; on coordinating ministries for the action plan; and on raising public awareness to encourage participation.


France's Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, E-Government

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Aid

  4. Expand open data

    FR0033, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improved data policies and administration

    FR0034, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open data at sub-national level

    FR0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. State AI lab

    FR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Administrative capacity-building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline data flows

    FR0040, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Etat forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online procedures dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. GovTech summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove public consultation mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International transparency and citizen participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public pariticipation in sustainable development

    FR0046, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, E-Government

  19. Citizen involvement in Cour des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Private sector transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  21. Access to information on public officials

    FR0050, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  23. Publish municipal council decisions and reports online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish building permits in open data format

    FR0003, 2015, Open Data

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Aid

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, E-Government

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Labor

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-it

    FR0013, 2015, Open Data

  35. Co-produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Open Data

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Public Participation

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Judiciary

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Land & Spatial Planning

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Open Data

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Conflicts of Interest

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Open Data

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate