A bit about me

Everything on this site reflects only my personal opinions and my own commitment to tackling climate change. Most of my articles will focus on climate – hence the title – although I may sometimes touch on other issues. I will mostly write in English, although I may sometimes post in French.

Of course, even though I am writing in a personal capacity I am naturally drawing on my long experience of working on climate change and sustainable development over more than 20 years at a high level in France, Europe and internationally. That background has given me a wide-ranging knowledge of the challenges of tackling climate change, hands-on experience of multilateral negotiations, working with many of the key actors from governments and civil society, and a rich understanding of how the UN Climate Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement work. It has also required me to develop my skills in management, often running teams in a project mode with staff from multiple organisations or even countries.

For most of that time I served as chief negotiator and head of the climate negotiations team for the French Ministry of ecological transition. I have taken a step back from that role recently although I continue to work as counsellor to the director for international and European affairs in the Ministry and I remain a member of the management board of the French interministerial climate team.

I had the honour to serve as chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – one of the two permanent structures of the COP – for 2018 and 2019 and as a member of the bureau of the COP for those two years. That led me to play a major role in developing the rulebook of the Paris Agreement that was largely approved by the Katowice COP in 2018. My biggest regret is that we were unable to complete all elements, particularly on voluntary cooperation under article 6 of the Paris Agreement, although I am convinced that my successors will be able to finish that work shortly building on what we did. But I was especially pround of working closely with the scientific community, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – science is central to all action on climate change.

From 2014 to 2016 I had the extraordinary opportunity of being at the heart of the preparation and running of the historic COP21 that agreed the Paris Agreement in 2015. As a senior member of the management committee of the interministerial COP21 team I am glad to have had the chance to work closely with Laurent Fabius who chaired the conference and Laurence Tubiana who led the COP21 team in coordinating the negotiation of the Paris Agreement.

As a lead negotiator for France I worked extremely closely with my colleagues in the European Union over the years. I also served as one the European Union’s lead negotiators from 2009 to 2014 at the conferences of Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Doha and Warsaw, responsible for leading our engagement on finance, adaptation, capacity building and the way in which climate policies interact with trade and impact third parties. I also had the chance to chair the European Union’s climate change working party during COP14 in Poznan during the French EU Presidency in 2008.

Before working on climate issues for the French government I also worked at the Environment Directorate of the OECD and before that in London on environmental and other issues. I studied at the Ecole nationale d’administration (promotion Averroès) and at Trinity College, Cambridge University.

I have dual French and British nationality. I live Paris and am married with three children.