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Hollande in the Philippines ‘to seal an alliance’ against climate change

media François Hollande in the Philippines for a two days' visit. AFP/NOEL CELIS

French President François Hollande arrived in Manila, the Philippines’ capital, on Thursday for a two-day visit in a move to address climate change, 10 months from the World Climate Conference hosted in Paris at the end of December. This is the first official visit of a French President since the archipelago’s independence in 1947.

In a speech in front of French and Filipino business leaders on Thursday, Hollande expressed his will to “seal an alliance” with the Philippines to fight against climate change.

“Our duty is to act together and this is the reason why I came to the Philippines, to issue a call, to seal an alliance,” he said.

The goal is to “anticipate” a potential success of the Climate Conference organized in Paris in December, he said, “in order to build an even stronger relationship between developed and emerging countries, to ensure the transitions of energies and above all to protect and to prevent”.

“France wants to devote its skills to the Philippines and to the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change,” Hollande insisted.

French Oscar award winning actress Marion Cotillard who is particularly committed to environmental issues travelled with Hollande and will read “an appeal from Manila” in support of an agreement in Paris.

The Philippines is one of the worst hit countries by the rise of temperatures. On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines with winds blowing at a speed of 315km/h. Killing more than 7,350 people, it was the deadliest typhoon the Philippines experienced in modern history.

On Friday Hollande is scheduled to visit the Guiuan island which was destroyed by the typhoon in 2013.

A number of trade deals is expected to be signed.

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