French climate activists have been stealing portraits of President Emmanuel Macron from town halls this year, protesting what they say is Macron's climate-friendly international image that hides his lack of action.
More than 130 portraits have been taken from town halls across the country, and the diverse group has faced varied reactions from French authorities, with some given fines while others acquitted. "We just want Macron, who holds himself up as a climate defender, to respect France's commitments under the COP21," Helene Lacroix-Baudrion, who faces charges for taking a portrait in the town of town of Bourg-en-Bresse, told the AP at her trial last week, where a UN expert testified on her behalf.
For a deeper dive:
- Macron: France Will Shut All Coal-Fired Power Stations by 2021 ... ›
- Schwarzenegger and Macron Take Selfie Video to 'Make the Planet ... ›
French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans Tuesday to suspend an increase in fuel tax in response to growing pressure from protestors. Over the weekend, Macron canceled plans to attend COP24 amidst increasing tension in France.
President Donald Trump on Twitter Tuesday evening conflated Macron's decision with a rejection of the Paris agreement, calling the accord "fatally flawed" while also retweeting a demonstrably false tweet from a right-wing pundit claiming that "radical leftist fuel taxes" are prompting the French to chant "'we want Trump'... through the streets of Paris."
"There's no viable solution to reducing emissions on the scale needed in France without a price on carbon pollution as well as complementary policies, but a process that is not developed in an inclusive manner is destined to fail," said Pierre Cannet, head of climate and energy at WWF-France. "[The] announcement that the French government is freezing carbon tax shows that they put the cart before the horse by not addressing the social measures necessary for a just transition."
As reported by Vox:
While the protests may have started over the fuel tax, they have since morphed into a broader indictment of Macron's handling of the French economy and his perceived elitist disregard for the effects his policies are having on France's working class.
Trump's disregard for the truth and active attempts to create his own reality—and to convince his supporters of that imagined reality—are nothing new.
But the fact that the sitting president of the United States either does not understand or is deliberately misrepresenting the basic dynamics of a massive political crisis roiling one of America's closest allies is deeply disturbing.
My second @EcoWatch piece today looks at the #GiletsJaunes protests in France and why it is important to factor inc… https://t.co/SkZyZOdNig— Olivia Rosane (@Olivia Rosane)1543847780.0
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The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
The summit was hosted as part of Climate Week NYC by French President Emmanuel Macron, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg to mobilize finance behind climate action, according to a press release.
It also comes as world leaders are gathered in New York for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and follows a harsh UN address by Macron Tuesday during which he said he would refuse to negotiate commercial deals with any country that did not join the Paris agreement.
Macron did not mention Trump by name Wednesday, but alluded to his actions during his remarks.
"The Paris agreement was supposed to be dead because of one decision," Macron said, according to Bloomberg News.
But the summit wasn't just to rally verbal support for Paris in defiance of Trump.
"We are not here just to speak but to be accountable," Macron said. "Here we will see what is working and what is not working. What we need is action."
Several business leaders announced pledges designed to help lower global greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters reported.
The world's largest asset manager BlackRock promised to help craft an investment fund to finance renewable energy and low-carbon transport in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The World Bank pledged to launch a $1 billion platform for developing battery storage technology.
Google, meanwhile, said it would launch a tool to measure greenhouse gas emissions from traffic and use Google Earth to measure the solar capacity of world cities.
Bloomberg announced that he would help organize a Wall Street Network on Sustainable Finance to encourage more climate and environment financing in U.S. markets, according to a press release provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Political leaders also stepped up to the plate.
The European Commission promised 25 percent of the next EU budget, 320 billion euros, to climate initiatives, according to the same press release.
The EU also joined with France and New Zealand to launch the Joint Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience to the tune of 20 million euros.
In total, more than 40 business and civic leaders gathered to report on the progress of 30 initiatives announced at the first One Planet Summit in December 2017, as well as to pledge new commitments.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday that his country would not make trade deals with any country not signed on to the Paris agreement to limit global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, The Hill reported.
"We will no longer sign commercial agreements with powers that do not respect the Paris accord," he told the UN General Assembly.
Macron did not mention the U.S. or President Donald Trump by name in his trade remarks, but the U.S. is currently the only country not in line with the Paris agreement after Trump announced his decision to withdraw in 2017.
Macron's speech came as part of the "General Debate" of the world leaders represented by the UN General Assembly, which is gathering in New York for its 73rd annual session from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.
In his speech, Macron called on other UN member states to follow his lead and eschew trade with non-Paris signatories.
Macron's remarks were interpreted as a rebuke to Trump's speech earlier in the day, in which the U.S. president emphasized U.S. sovereignty and said he would pull back from international commitments and agreements, CNN reported.
Macron said sovereignty was important, but that collaboration was essential to maintain it.
"Only collective action allows for the upholding of the sovereignty and equality of the people in whose name we take action," Macron said, according to CNN. "This is the reason we must take action against climate, demographic and digital challenges. No one alone can tackle these."
Trump, in turn, had said that the U.S. would not return to the Human Rights Council without major changes to the organization, would not support the International Criminal Court and would reduce U.S. funding of the UN peacekeeping budget to no more than 25 percent of its total, The Independent reported.
The clashing tones of the two presidents' speeches came after the two leaders had a conversation on issues, including trade, that officials for both countries said were "constructive," The Independent reported.
Trump did not mention climate change or the Paris accord in his speech, but Macron highlighted both, praising the rest of the world's countries for staying the course despite U.S. withdrawal, CNN reported.
He also argued against defeatism.
"People say it's too late; well then, let's hurry up," he said, according to the UN summary of his speech.
Macron may be trying to step into the global leadership role formerly held by the U.S., CNN said, but his remarks come as he faces criticism at home for moving too slowly on environmental issues.
200 Leading Artists and Scientists Urge Politicians to Act 'Firmly and Immediately' to Solve Climate Crisis
Planet earth just got the star treatment.
Two hundred of the world's leading artists and scientists signed a letter written by French actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau and published in leading French paper Le Monde Sunday, calling for urgent action on climate change.
"It is time to get serious," the letter said, according to a translation provided by France24. "The sixth mass extinction is taking place at unprecedented speed. But it is not too late to avert the worst."
Famous signatories included American actors like Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke and Bradley Cooper, British film stars like Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas and Charlotte Rampling, iconic French actresses Isabelle Adjani, Marion Cotillard and Catherine Deneuve, internationally-acclaimed directors Pedro Almodóvar, Jane Campion, David Cronenberg and Wim Wenders, singers Marianne Faithful, Patti Smith and Rufus Wainwright, as well as many leading scientists and thinkers including astrophysicist Hervé Dole and climate scientist Jean Jouzel.
The letter urged politicians to act "firmly and immediately," according to France24, and to do whatever necessary to avert a climate crisis, even if unpopular.
The signatories referred to climate change and the "collapse of biodiversity" as the "greatest challenge in the history of mankind," France24 reported.
The letter opened with a reference to the resignation of French environment minister Nicolas Hulot last Tuesday.
"I don't want to lie anymore," Hulot said in his announcement. "I don't want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are on top of these issues and therefore I take the decision to quit this government."
Macron named French Parliament President François de Rugy as Hulot's replacement Tuesday, POLITICO reported.
De Rugy was first elected to French parliament over ten years ago with the European Greens. He quit that party and founded his own green party in 2015, POLITICO reported.Greenpeace France tweeted de Rugy Tuesday to remind him he had once said he was "fed up" with delays in the phase out, POLITICO reported. France was supposed to reduce nuclear power from 75 percent to 50 percent of its energy by 2025.
13 Climate Justice Leaders Imagined as Comic Superheroes https://t.co/UTaFzTxnDP @ClimateReality @foodandwater @350… https://t.co/S9JgQWycso— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524579205.0
France's environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, abruptly resigned from his post during a live French radio interview Tuesday, citing "an accumulation of disappointments" in Emmanuel Macron's government.
He said the government has made inadequate progress in reducing the use of pesticides, protecting soil health and defending biodiversity. Hulot said he did not tell his wife, Macron or his prime minister about the decision.
This is a blow to Macron, whose approval ratings have dipped at home. The French president promised to "make our planet great again," a slogan he introduced after President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris agreement.
Hulot, an environmental activist and former nature television program host, was favored by young people and was consistently popular in polls. He said Tuesday that environmental measures were "always relegated to the bottom of the list of priorities."
"I don't want to lie anymore," Hulot said. "I don't want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are on top of these issues and therefore I take the decision to quit this government."
Nicolas Hulot : "Je prends la décision de quitter le gouvernement" #le79inter cc @leasalame @ndemorand https://t.co/MhRq7zEktM— France Inter (@France Inter)1535437735.0
Hulot's exit comes after the government's plans to relax hunting restrictions to include cheaper hunting licenses and expanding the number of species that could be shot, the Guardian reported. Hulot said the move made him aware of the power hunting lobbyists had over the government.
He also had differences with the government's decision to drop its long-held 2025 target of reducing the share of nuclear energy in its power mix to 50 percent. He also wanted to ban the herbicide glyphosate but was overruled by the agriculture ministry, according to the Guardian.
Earlier this month, a California jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who claimed Monsanto's glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup gave him cancer.
Hulot described the verdict as the "beginning of a war" against glyphosate in Europe.
"If we wait, such poisons will not be prevented from doing their damage and the victims will be excessively numerous," he said to BFM radio.
The government was taken aback by the resignation.
"The most basic of courtesies would have been to warn the president of the republic and the prime minister," government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told the BFM news channel, as quoted by the Guardian.
The Greens in the European Parliament lamented Hulot's exit.
"Hulot was a hope for the ecologists but Macron's government doesn't defend the environment, biodiversity or public health—it listens more to powerful lobbies," the group tweeted today.
French Environmental Minister @N_Hulot has quit today. Hulot was a hope for the ecologists but #Macron's government… https://t.co/bdJnlSgdYT— Greens/EFA in the EU Parliament 🌍 (@Greens/EFA in the EU Parliament 🌍)1535458825.0
"Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy," Junior Environment Minister Brune Poirson told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.
Here are some of the new initiatives that will be introduced, as reported by Deutsche Welle:
- From 2019, items without recycled packaging could cost up to 10 percent more, while products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10 percent less;
- A deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles;
- Taxes on landfill trash will increase, while taxes for recycling will go down;
- Standardization of the color of recycling bins across the country.
The aim is to encourage consumers to recycle, Poirson explained.
"When there's a choice between two bottles, one made of recycled plastic and the other without, the first will be less expensive," she said. "When non-recycled plastic will cost more, that will eliminate much of the excessive packaging."
Reuters noted that France currently recycles around 25 percent of its plastic packaging waste—the second worst recycler in Europe. To compare, Germany and The Netherlands recycle 50 percent of their plastic waste.
But in recent years, France has taken major steps to curb its plastic footprint. In 2016, the previous socialist government announced a ban on disposable plastic plates, cutlery and cups. The ban comes into effect in 2020.
"Recycling is necessary but not sufficient. We absolutely must cut off the flow and have more stringent measures against over-packaging and disposable objects," Berlingen added.
As the International Solar Alliance (ISA) kicked off its founding conference in New Delhi this past weekend, India and France publicly reaffirmed their commitment to working together to fight climate change.
The two countries signed a pact on "cooperation in the field of environment" on Saturday, a day before the conference began, The Economic Times reported.
100 projets pour développer l’énergie solaire ont déjà été recensés auprès de 36 États membres. Ce sont des projets… https://t.co/HF5iHNxwYz— Emmanuel Macron (@Emmanuel Macron)1520774355.0
The pact is designed to facilitate information exchange between government officials and experts in the two countries as they work to protect the environment and combat climate change.
The ISA was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi and former French President Francois Hollande at the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris that also gave rise to the Paris agreement. It seeks to facilitate cooperation between 121 solar-rich countries lying between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer in order to lower prices and drive innovation in the solar sector. It became a treaty-based organization on Dec. 6, 2017.
International Solar Alliance, jointly launched PM @NarendraModi and Former President of France Mr. @FHollande on No… https://t.co/9QupwnPWOt— R. K. Singh (@R. K. Singh)1512402482.0
The ISA, and the new cooperation pact, are two examples of how France and India's governments are positioning their countries as leaders in the global fight against climate change.
Macron has built on on his predecessor's commitments. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January, he pledged to shutter all French coal plants by 2021, advancing Hollande's promise by two years. India, meanwhile, has committed to building the capacity for 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022. While India is the third largest releaser of carbon dioxide, according to the most recent data available, its current policies also put it on track to reach an emissions level compatible with 2°C of warming, according to analysis performed by Climate Tracker. For comparison, the current efforts of the U.S., the no. 2 releaser, are deemed "critically insufficient" to meet even the 2°C goal.
Both Macron and Modi have doubled down on their climate efforts in response to Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris agreement. The two leaders gave a joint press conference in June pledging to collaborate in the face of the U.S. president's withdrawal. "We are both convinced that our countries have to do a lot for the ecological and environmental transition and the fight against global warming," Macron said at the conference, Reuters reported.
Macron has also offered funds, cheekily titled the "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants, to U.S. and other non-French climate scientists who apply to come to France and conduct their research.
France Awards U.S. Climate Scientists Multi-Year Grants to #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain https://t.co/rRMab6Ig2q… https://t.co/pSO1WeB2he— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1513031107.0
At this past weekend's ISA conference, both countries reiterated their commitment to international climate change efforts.
In a joint statement issued the day before the conference, the two nations "committed to fully implement the Paris Agreement at the COP24 and further on, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a part of an irreversible global process at combating climate change for the benefit of all humanity," The Economic Times reported.
"The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records," POTUS told host Piers Morgan during an interview on UK television network ITV broadcast Sunday.
Well, the polar ice caps are indeed setting records—for melting. Here's a GIF showing the extent of the frightening sea ice loss in the Arctic from 1979-2016.
A look at the loss of thicker (usually older) #Arctic sea ice in Octobers from 1979-2016 (PIOMAS, ice < 1.5 meters… https://t.co/HaFszuIZes— Zack Labe (@Zack Labe)1479150349.0
These line graphs plot monthly deviations and overall trends in polar sea ice from 1979 to 2017 as measured by satellites. The top line shows the Arctic; the middle shows Antarctica; and the third shows the global, combined total. The graphs depict how much the sea ice concentration moved above or below the long-term average. (They do not plot total sea ice concentration.) Arctic and global sea ice totals have moved consistently downward over 38 years. Antarctic trends are more muddled, but they do not offset the great losses in the Arctic.Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory
After the ITV interview, ten different climate scientists contacted by the Associated Press said Trump was wrong about climate change.
"Clearly President Trump is relying on alternative facts to inform his views on climate change. Ice on the ocean and on land are both disappearing rapidly, and we know why: increasing greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels that trap more heat and melt the ice," Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis explained.
Trump's comment was similar to one he tweeted in 2014: "the POLAR ICE CAPS are at an all time high, the POLAR BEAR population has never been stronger. Where the hell is global warming?"
Trump is a well known climate change denier who infamously said that global warming is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese. Since taking office, he and his administration have rolled back critical environmental protections and pushed for fossil fuels.
When ITV host Morgan asked Trump if he thinks climate change is even happening, the president replied, "There is a cooling, and there's a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. Right? That wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place."
Trump's remark was consistent with the one he tweeted last month during a cold snap in the East Coast, when he confused temperature with climate. "Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"
Morgan did not follow up by telling the president that his statements were scientifically untrue.
However, Trump did tell Morgan that he believes in "clean air. I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful water. I believe in just having good cleanliness in all."
Also in the interview, Trump suggested he's open to keeping the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement—even though he's said before that landmark pact of keeping global average temperatures from rising 2°C "was a bad deal for the U.S."
"The Paris accord, for us, would have been a disaster," Trump said. "Would I go back in? Yeah, I'd go back in. I like, as you know, I like Emmanuel."
"I would love to, but it's got to be a good deal for the United States," he added.
2017, wasn't just one of the hottest years in modern history, it was also extremely costly. According to a recent report from the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "the U.S. experienced 16 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion, with total costs of approximately $306 billion—a new U.S. annual record."
By Andy Rowell
With a swagger and a wave, President Donald Trump has arrived at the World Economic Forum in Davos and is expected to push his "America First" agenda on Friday in a self-congratulatory speech.
"The president's message is very much the same here as it will be [in Davos]," his press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "He welcomes the opportunity to go there and advance his America First agenda with world leaders."
According to the BBC, Trump's speech is likely to cover three main themes. First, he will set out his achievements, including tax reform and deregulation. Second, he will talk about trade and third, he will ask for increased international support for international problems such as Isis and North Korea.
But there are many who remain opposed to the president's "America First" deregulatory and anti-environmental agenda. "He is going for show and not for substance. In terms of global policy, he has nothing to say to the people of Davos," Nicholas Dungan, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who teaches at Sciences Po, a prestigious French research university, told CNN.
Indeed, before the president arrived, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron took issue with Trump's policies of isolationism, protectionism and denial of climate change.
In what is being seen a poking fun at the president, his French counterpart, Macron said, "When you arrive here and see the snow, it could be hard to believe in global warming. Obviously you [didn't] invite anyone skeptical about global warming this year."
"We cannot end up in a world with a cosmopolitan digital elite and an army of discontented workers," said Gentiloni. "Our history and roots are not synonymous with protectionism."
As Trump relishes the spotlight in Davos, back home the work of speaking truth to power continues. On Friday at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, the Society of Environmental Journalists will launch its annual report, "The Journalists' Guide to Energy and Environment," which previews the top stories of 2018, with comments from a roundtable of leading journalists.
As the event invitation says, "From pipeline politics to hurricane horrors, 2017 witnessed a flood of energy and environment news—and 2018 promises to set a new high-water mark." And Trump will remain central to many of the stories. But for how much longer can we stand "America First, but the Environment Last?"
'Muffled' Climate Scientists Relocate to France as Trump's Disregard Blatantly Continues https://t.co/WGoRvWdmbX… https://t.co/VMBYZDlaqQ— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1514904127.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
The deadline is two years ahead of his predecessor Francois Hollande's goal of shutting down France's coal-powered plants by 2023.
France only produces around 1 percent of its energy from coal-fired stations, as the country is 99 percent dependent on hydrocarbon imports. However, the move from the world's fifth largest economy shows it is determined to be a leader on climate issues and sends a signal to other nations.
During his speech to politicians and business leaders on Wednesday, the French president said he wanted to "make France a model in the fight against climate change."
"That is a huge advantage in terms of attractiveness and competitiveness," he said. "Talent will come where it is good to live. We can create a lot of jobs with such a strategy."
We have decided to make France a model in the fight against climate change. We have already attracted hundreds of p… https://t.co/n5bC6aBgiR— Emmanuel Macron (@Emmanuel Macron)1516813663.0
Last month, the French parliament passed a law banning the exploration and production of all oil and natural gas by 2040 within mainland France and all overseas territories. France also plans to ban the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040.
At Davos, Macron stressed that warming needs to be kept within the 2 degrees Celsius limit set at the Paris climate agreement.
"On climate change, we're losing the battle," he said, adding that the world needs concrete action and results by 2020.
"When you arrive here and see the snow, it could be hard to believe in global warming," Macron said. "Obviously you don't invite anyone skeptical about global warming this year."
Trump arrived in Switzerland Thursday to attend the World Economic Forum and to promote his "America First" agenda.
By Andy Rowell
Many East Coasters will be returning to work today in bitter cold conditions after the second-coldest New Year on record.
The low temperatures over the festive period did not go unnoticed by President Donald Trump who tweeted in late December:
"In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old G… https://t.co/tCjF8xdXep— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1514505707.0
The utter ignorance and stupidity underlying this tweet is staggering for someone with so much power. As the New York Times noted in response: "Trump's tweet made the common mistake of looking at local weather and making broader assumptions about the climate at large."
The paper added: "To use an analogy Mr. Trump might appreciate, weather is how much money you have in your pocket today, whereas climate is your net worth. A billionaire who has forgotten his wallet one day is not poor, anymore than a poor person who lands a windfall of several hundred dollars is suddenly rich. What matters is what happens over the long term."
"Trump is free to tweet whatever he likes. And he will continue to do so. But to use cold weather as some sort of rebuttal of broader climatological warming is not even close to accurate, factual or funny," said CNN.
And over the long term, Trump's toxic assault on science will have an impact on the quality of the science that the U.S. produces. In time, there will be a so-called "brain drain" of leading climate experts who will leave the U.S. to escape the noxious fumes of the Trump administration.
And it has already started to happen. Some 18 scientists are taking up French President Macron's offer to relocate to the country to continue work on climate change. The majority of these are relocating from the U.S.
One of the world's most influential climate scientists, Camille Parmesan, is one such scientist, who currently works at the University of Texas and Plymouth in the UK. Her 1996 study published in the journal, Nature, on butterflies was one of the first scientific studies to document impacts of climate change on wildlife.
In an interview with the Guardian, she outlined why she has decided to relocate to France: "The impact of Trump on climate science has been far greater than what the public believe it has."
"He has not only slashed funding, but he's gone on the attack in any way he can with his powers as the president. University researchers are buffered from this, but scientists working at government agencies have really felt the blow," said Parmesan. "They have been muffled and not allowed to speak freely with the press, they have had their reports altered to remove 'climate change' from the text, and are being told to leave climate change out of future reports and funding proposals."
"This degrades the entire climate science community. Scientists are fighting back, but Congress needs to exercise its constitutional powers and keep the executive branch in check. This is not a partisan issue—this is about the future of America," said Parmesan.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.