26 April 2018

Macron tells Trump and US Congress: “There is no Planet B”

French President Emmanuel Macron has topped off his 3-day visit to the United States with a speech urging stronger action on climate change.

In a rare opportunity to speak directly to all Republican and Democrat lawmakers in Washington DC, Mr Macron chose to highlight the vital need to reduce carbon emissions.

“By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions, and destroying our biodiversity — we are killing our planet. Let us face it. There is no planet B,” he added, which met with laughter and applause from both sides of the aisle.

Climate change has long been a divisive issue in US politics, especially among Republicans who often deny the decades-old scientific consensus on the issue.

The French President also spoke of his hope, and confidence, that the US will "one day" re-join the landmark Paris climate agreement. President Trump’s planned withdrawal from the deal, made last year, leaves the US as the only country in the world not to be signed up.

“We must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy. Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, one sacrifice things for the future of our children. What is the meaning of our life if our decision, our conscious decision, is to reduce the opportunities for our children and grandchildren,” he concluded.

Since taking office in May 2017, President Macron has made climate change and the low-carbon economy a key concern. He hosted the major One Planet Summit in December, which convened world leaders in Paris to discuss how to make progress on sustainable finance. His administration also plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2030; double wind power capacity within five years, and will outlaw offshore oil and gas exploration.

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