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Did Macron Just Convince Trump to Reenter the Paris Agreement?

By Reynard Loki

The friendship between the U.S. and France goes way back—all the way to 1775, when France secretly began sending supplies to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. In fact, France was the first ally of the new U.S. (Of course, it helped that France was pretty angry at Great Britain over the territory it lost during the French and Indian War).

Now, almost 250 years later, President Trump has ruffled some French feathers by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, signed by nearly 200 nations to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. But newly minted French president Emmanuel Macron wasn't about to let Trump's pullout ruin a good friendship—something that was made abundantly clear when the two leaders met in Paris last week.

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France to Ban Gas and Diesel Vehicle Sales

France just announced an end to all gas and diesel vehicle sales by 2040.

Nicolas Hulot, the country's new ecology minister, said Thursday the phase-out will help France meet its commitment to the Paris agreement.

Along with France, four major cities including Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have already announced plans to ban diesel cars by 2025.

Check out the video above from Newsy to find out how countries are switching to electric vehicles to fight pollution and climate change.

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France to Ban Sale of Cars Powered by Gasoline and Diesel

France plans to end the sale of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel by 2040, environment minister Nicolas Hulot said.

Hulot made the announcement Thursday in Paris as he launched the country's new Climate Plan to accelerate the transition to clean energy and to meet its targets under the Paris climate agreement.

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France to Ban All New Development of Shale Oil and Gas

By Andy Rowell

There is a growing feeling within European capitals that a quiet, but deeply positive, revolution is happening under Emmanuel Macron in France.

Macron's opinion poll rating is high, especially boosted in how the young French president has reacted to Donald Trump on the international stage.

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Climate Scientists, Please Come to France, You Are Welcome

French President Emmanuel Macron is inviting U.S. climate scientists and researchers to move to France with a new website that takes direct aim at Donald Trump.

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Greenpeace activists in Berlin projected an image of Donald Trump on the U.S. Embassy. Michael Sohn / DPA

World Leaders to Trump: You're on Your Own

The overwhelming global response to President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement was essentially, "Go jump in a lake"—or as one Germany tabloid succinctly phrased it in a widely circulated headline:

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New French President Set to Clash With Trump Over Climate

By Andy Rowell

Donald Trump was quick to take to Twitter last night to congratulate the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron on his resounding victory against the far-right, Marine Le Pen, in the French presidential race.

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World's First Solar Road Opens in France

A small village in France is now home to the world's first solar road, aka Wattway. French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal officially inaugurated the 1 kilometer-long road covered with 2,800-square-meters of resin-encased panels in Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy on Thursday.

The French Ministry of the Environment invested €5 million ($5.2 million) to build the project engineered by French road construction company Colas.

According to the Guardian, about 2,000 motorists will drive on the roadway during a test period of two years to see if the project can generate enough energy to power street lights for the 3,400-resident village. The panels consists of extremely thin yet durable panels of polycrystalline silicon that can transform solar energy into electricity.

The panels are designed to withstand all types of traffic, including heavy-duty vehicles and in terms of efficiency, Wattway claims its panels have a 15 percent yield, compared to 18-19 percent for conventional photovoltaic panels.

The French government plans to eventually pave 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of its roads with solar panels.

"The maximum effect of the program, if successful, could be to furnish 5 million people with electricity, or about 8 percent of the French population," Royal said earlier this year about the iniative.

Critics, however, have concerns over the high price of the project.

"It's without doubt a technical advance, but in order to develop renewables there are other priorities than a gadget of which we are more certain that it's very expensive than the fact it works," Marc Jedliczka, vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition (CLER), told Le Monde.

Jean-Louis Bal, president of renewable energy union SER, added, "We have to look at the cost, the production [of electricity] and its lifespan. For now I don't have the answers."

Colas, however, said that expenses will eventually lessen as the technology is adopted elsewhere in the world, including an experimental site that launched earlier this month in the U.S. The site consists of of 50 square meters of Wattway solar panels installed at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in West Point, Georgia.

Colas CEO Hervé Le Bouc also told Les Echoes last year that the installation of Wattway panels is relatively non-disruptive.

"There is no need to rebuild infrastructure," Le Bouc said. "At Chambéry and Grenoble, was tested successfully on Wattway a cycle of 1 million vehicles, or 20 years of normal traffic a road, and the surface does not move."

Royal added, "It takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure already in use ... to produce electricity without taking up new real estate."

The solar roads concept is not new. EcoWatch has previously featured a similar Idaho-based project, Solar Roadways, whose Indiegogo campaign became extremely successful when their video went viral in 2014. Also, a solar bike path in the Netherlands called SolaRoad has been in operation since November 2014.

While solar roads have its detractors, the technology has been touted as an efficient way to harness the sun's energy while taking advantage of the world's expansive roadway network.

"Roads spend 90 percent of their time just looking up into the sky. When the sun shines, they are of course exposed to its rays," Jean-Lic Gautier, manager of the Center for Expertise at the Colas Campus for Science and Techniques, said in a statement last year. "It's an ideal surface area for energy applications."

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11 Cities Showing What Bold Climate Action Looks Like

By Mike Gaworecki

Eleven cities from around the world were celebrated recently in Mexico City at the C40 Cities Awards for their commitment to innovation in the fight against climate change.

The eleven-year-old C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group brings together officials from 85 of the world's great cities that collectively represent one quarter of the global economy. The group's focus is spurring urban initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the health, well-being and economic opportunity of the more 650 million people who call those 85 cities home.

Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Chinese green-tech developer BYD, the C40 Cities Awards recognized the "best and boldest" work being done by mayors to fight climate change and protect their constituents from climate risks.

"The winning projects show that great progress is being made on every continent, and they serve as an inspiration to other cities," C40 President of the Board and U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. "They also show how cities can help the world meet the ambitious goals set a year ago in Paris."

A panel of former mayors and climate experts selected the ten cities that they felt had adopted the most ambitious and effective urban sustainability programs in the world—and C40 partnered with the Associated Press to capture images of each winning city's projects, allowing you a sneak peek whether you live near one of them or not.

"Today, we celebrate some of the projects that are key to delivering on the world's climate ambition and will help put us on a path to a carbon-safe future," Chuanfu Wang, chairman and president of BYD Co. Ltd, said at the awards ceremony. "We recognise the incredible human power and thoughtful consideration that goes into making these projects reality."

1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopa

The city of Addis Ababa is a winner of the C40 Awards 2016 in the Transportation Category. The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project has improved the city's public transport system and created more than 6,000 jobs. The cumulative emission reduction potential of the LRT system is forecasted at 1.8 million tCO2e by 2030.

A lady holding her baby wrapped in a white shawl is transported on an Addis Ababa LRT. Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40

An Addis Ababa Light Rail Tram passes through Ethiopia's largest business district Merakto. Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40

Pedestrians look out over commercial and residential buildings on the city skyline. Nearby an Addis Ababa light rail tram passes by.Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40

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