Laurent Fabius once told a room full of journalists "the truth is cruel". From championing nuclear energy and weaponry to closing the most significant climate deal in history, Fabius has had a career of contrasts.
The French Foreign Minister pulled off a coup at the Paris climate talks. Acting as president of the high-level UN meeting, he managed to interpret the demands and necessities of 195 countries that adopted a legally binding agreement to tackle climate change.
His CV doesn't exactly reflect the achievement.
In 1984, Fabius became youngest serving French Prime Minister. Formerly the Minister for Industry and Research, he was touted as a catalyst for a technocratic future for France in which rapid development of technology would lead to economic success.
His doctrine of science and technology above all else saw a rapid rise in funding to research and development for France.
During this time, France was testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific. They had the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal on the principle of dissuasion du faible, deterrence of the weak by the strong.
South Pacific countries, including New Zealand, widely voiced their opposition to testing but France saw their lack of diplomatic weight and military power as too inconsequential for significant action.
The trouble-making Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, had been in Pacific Ocean in early 1985 to protest French nuclear testing and dumping of nuclear waste.
Greenpeace brought the boat to Auckland Harbour to resupply before leading a flotilla of boats to protest French nuclear testing at the Tuamotu Archipelago.
On July 10, 1985, two French secret agents dived beneath the boat and planted explosives on the hull. The first bomb went off slightly before midnight. Photographer Fernando Pereira rushed aboard to retrieve his equipment but the second explosion trapped him in his cabin as the ship sunk.
It took France two months to admit it was behind the bombings.
On September 22, 1985, Fabius held a press conference where he told reporters, "the truth is cruel. Agents of the French secret service sank this boat. They were acting on orders."
Jeanette Fitzsimmons, former Green Party MP, said the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was a "shocking act of violence against a peaceful organisation".
"It was murder."
Fabius moved from post to post after 1986 until settling in as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2012 and, finally, closing the deal at the Paris climate talks.
Ms Fitzsimmons said that although the Rainbow Warrior bombing cannot be excused, "it can't get in the way of giving credit to the man."
"I was in Kyoto in 1997 and everything would be so much easier if that had been a success. Fabius may have brought us back from the brink. Good on him for that."