Macron Says the World Is 'Losing the Battle' Against Climate Change and Needs to Act
“Thank you for having decided, collectively, not to accept defeat.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is taking the reigns on climate change, determined to send a message to the world that meeting the goals set forth in during the Paris Climate accord remain imperative to the health of the planet.
On Tuesday Macron put this sentiment into words during his closing speech at the “One Planet” summit in Paris, a meeting of world leaders and philanthropists gathered to discuss the future of action on climate change.
“Thank you for having decided, collectively, not to accept defeat,” he said to the participants after a long day of talks. “We have decided today, collectively, to win with determination, with strength, in making these commitments.”
Macron also issued a warning to world leaders, saying the world is “losing the battle” against climate change, the Independent reports.
“We’re not moving quick enough. We all need to act,” he said.
Macron’s words came after business leaders and politicians from around the world came together to find solutions to meeting the goals of Paris accords despite the recent withdrawal of the United States earlier this year. Representatives of 50 countries were present, although president Donald Trump was notably not invited.
A big theme of the summit was getting private businesses around the world involved in fighting for a cleaner planet. Representatives of major industries made large commitments to combat climate change.
The World Bank committed to stop funding projects involving upstream oil and gas after 2019. The Gates Foundation announced it would invest $300 million to help farmers in Africa deal with the effects of climate change, and the European Commission agreed to match this proposal, bringing total funding up to $600 million. Several large investment firms also committed to divest from polluting industries, and put more money into clean energy infrastructure.
Though these agreements were non-binding, they reflect a renewed dedication by businesses and world leaders to continue finding solutions to climate change. Politicians from around the globe also spoke about the necessity of maintaining their pledges made in the Paris accords, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Clean energy is now cheaper than coal, energy efficiency saves money and improves your bottom line, and talented people want to work for companies that care about the planet,” Macron said, “Together we are going to meet the goal that this country set in Paris by reducing emissions by at least 26 percent. There isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us.”
Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and taking action on climate change is goal number 13. You can take action on this issue here.
A day before the “One Planet” summit, Macron announced the winners of his “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative, which will fund the research of 18 prestigious climate scientists in Europe. Thirteen of these winners were Americans.
One of them, Cornell University based biologist Louis Derry, told Science Magazine he wasn’t too upset that he would have to leave the US to continue his climate change research.
“I think it’s hard to find too many downsides to living in Paris for a little while,” he said.
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