Macron on Paris pact: ‘The U.S. will come back’

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron told a joint session of Congress today that the United States will eventually return to the Paris climate accord, a rebuke to President Trump’s position.

“I’m sure one day, the United States will come back and join the Paris Agreement,” Macron said. “And I’m sure we can work together to fulfill with you the ambitions of the global compact on the environment.”

Macron’s comments, which drew bipartisan applause in the House chamber, focused on the need to preserve the planet and transition to a global low-carbon economy.

“What is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, sacrificing the future of our children?” he said.

Macron is pressing the Trump administration to return to the Paris accord, stay in the Iran nuclear deal and keep U.S. forces in Syria. The two leaders acknowledged yesterday that they had discussed the climate pact but little had changed.

The French president emphasized today that technology and science can “make our planet great again” and protect democracy and warned there is no “Planet B.”

Macron’s delegation included 13 climate researchers from U.S. institutions whom he vowed to support after Trump announced last year that the United States would exit the Paris accord (Climatewire, April 25).

President Trump tweeted earlier today that he would be watching the French president’s address, and observers noted that Macron’s comments on climate change drew bipartisan support.

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser, said the French leader’s urging of the use of science to tackle threats to the planet was such an obvious point “even Republicans had to join Democrats in standing and applauding the need for good science.”

But while Democrats in both chambers applauded the congressional address, at least one Republican lawmaker took to Twitter to blast the foreign leader.

“French President is a socialist militarist globalist science-alarmist … the dark future of the American Democratic Party,” tweeted Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie.