Ambassador H.E. Gilles Montagnier’s Address in the Opening of the TOTAL LAUCALA BAY Station

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The Managing Director of Total Fiji, Dear Sylvain,

Members of the business community,

Members of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I am here with you today to launch this new Total Laucala Bay station.

Total, GDF Suez, Areva, EDF: these are the names of very large French groups in the energy sector, national champions all ranked in the top five in the world in their specialty. Created a long time ago with a strong support from the French public sector, those national champions are among the ones that make France the 5th largest economy in the world.

Working on the energy sector, those companies are well aware of climate change issues – of which Pacific island states are the first victims. They are also well aware of the opportunities of the green economy in terms of economic growth. All of them are involved in renewable energy. Total, for instance, owns a subsidiary called Sun Power, working on solar energy. You can see one of its accomplishments here in Fiji : Total Vuda Terminal solar farm which was launched about a month ago, with the Attorney general in attendance.

These are concrete examples of actions taken to fight against climate change. With the European Union, France has always been a driving force in the negotiations on this issue and is pleased to welcome to Paris in 2015 the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21). Our goal is to achieve during this round of negotiations a universal legal agreement on climate change for humanity to return to the path of limiting warming below 2°C.

Support from the Pacific countries will be crucial for this and we know we can count on the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) chaired by Nauru and in Fiji which plays a major role (as well as in all regional circles in the Pacific).

I cannot conclude this brief intervention in three small additional points:

First, I would like to congratulate Total for the new design of its stations. The new colors are very stylish. The Café Bonjour emphasizes the French brand identity, a very useful reminder as France is the nearest country to Fiji, through its territory of Wallis and Futuna! For those who would like to learn French – it is always useful if you want to settle business with New-Caledonia, which GDP per capita is higher than the one of New-Zealand! – may I remind you that it’s possible in Fiji, through the Alliance Française, at Ratu Sukuna Road in Nasese!

Secondly, I would like to thank and congratulate Sylvain Quémeneur not only for the work he has done for his company, but also for his contribution to the French community in Fiji.

We are very sad to see him go, with his wife Geraldine and their children.

Thirdly and finally, I want to address a warm welcome to Sylvain’s successor, Mr. Martin McCarthy, an Irish who speaks perfectly our beautiful French language!

Thank you all for your attention.

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Published on 23/07/2014

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