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Environment

President Macron Awarded Scientists With Grants to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’

French President Emmanuel Macron just took a giant step toward making our planet great again.

On Monday, Macron awarded grants to 18 climate researchers to support their research on the impacts of climate changes, according to CNN.

The grants are part of Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative — a play on Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — which Macron announced in June after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

Macron-Climate-Summit.jpgFrench President Emmanuel Macron, center, attends the "Tech for Planet" event at the "Station F" start up campus ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris, France, Monday Dec. 11, 2017.
Image: Philippe Wojazer/Pool/AP

In addition to receiving up to $1.8 million over the next three to five years, the 18 scientists — 13 of whom are currently based in the US — were also invited to make France their “second homeland” for the rest of Trump’s presidency, the Guardian reported.

Several members of Trump’s administration have denied the credibility of scientific reports linking human activity to climate change.

Take Action: Stand Up for the Arctic

Last month, Trump’s Energy Secretary, Ricky Perry, said, “I still think the science is out” on whether or not human activities have caused climate change. And Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said that carbon dioxide — a byproduct of fossil fuels — is not a primary contributor to climate change, in stark disagreement with the scientific community, the New York Times reported

But scientists, including those working for federal agencies under the Trump administration, say that there is “no convincing alternative explanation” for climate change and global warming besides humans, according to the New York Times.

Read more: Rick Perry Blames Climate Change on Oceans Instead of Humans

President Trump has referred to climate change and global warming as hoaxes on multiple occasions.

And he has proposed budget cuts that would significantly impact environmental science and climate change programs, the Atlantic reported. According to NPR, the proposed budget cuts have even led scientists to avoid using the actual phrase “climate change” in funding applications.

But Macron has been vocal about his support for climate change action.

“If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science,” he said on Monday when he announced the grant-winners.

Read more: 5 Consequences of Trump Dumping the Paris Climate Agreement

And the scientists are grateful to be able to continue their work.

“For me, the chance to work on some very exciting science questions with my French colleagues and not be so dependent on the crazy stuff that goes on in Congress and with the current administration is honestly very attractive,” Louis A. Derry, one of the funding recipients and a professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell, told the Washington Post. “It can be embarrassing to try and explain what is going on at home right now,” she added.

But Macron isn’t stopping there.

The grant-winners were announced just one day before the “One Planet Summit” kicked off in Paris on Tuesday, NPR reported, and they are just the first batch of recipients to be selected. Another round of the competition will launch, in conjunction with Germany, next year, according to the Guardian.

Global Citizen, like President Macron, campaigns to make the planet great again by supporting the fight against climate change. You can take action here to save the environment and slow global warming.