World is losing the battle against climate change, Macron says

World is losing the battle against climate change, Macron says

Cheryl Sanders
December 16, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a not-so-subtle jab at President Trump, has awarded long-term research grants to 18 climate scientists - 13 of them USA -based researchers - to relocate to France and pursue their work with the blessing of a government that doesn't cast doubt on the threat of climate change.

The meeting in Paris seemed to cement Macron's role as a key leader on climate change, now that the USA has shunned the global effort; he co-hosted the summit with the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Macron made the offer after Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a "hoax", announced in June the United States would withdraw from the Paris pact, painstakingly negotiated by almost 200 nations over more than two decades.

The summit marks two years since the landmark climate accord was signed in the French capital.

Trump has said the United States - which had pledged $3 billion towards the Green Climate Fund, of which it delivered $1 billion under Barack Obama - would not fulfil its climate finance commitments.

"When I say that we're losing the battle, I would like you to realise that of the countries represented here, 5, 10 or 15 of them won't exist anymore in 50, 60 or 100 years". The Austrian-American was quoted as saying this week that it doesn't matter whether Trump is on board with the climate accord or not, "because companies, scientists and other governments can 'pick up the slack' to reduce global emissions".

In an interview aired with United States broadcaster NBC, Macron said he wanted to remind Trump of his responsibility to history over his decision to pull out of the agreement.

On Monday, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said "a practical path forward for finance is needed" if the brakes were to be put on climate change.

A dozen worldwide projects were announced at the summit.

The projects are set to be announced at Tuesday's One Planet Summit, which will bring together some 50 world leaders, businesses and investors to commit to financing climate change solutions.

Mr Macron emphasised that the need for action was now.

"If we're here today, it's because many have decided not to accept the US Federal Government's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement".

Oxfam estimated that there was only between $4 billion and $8 billion available for adaptation and that recent estimates showed the cost of helping emerging nations deal with rising sea levels, droughts, flooding and other effects of global warming could add up to $140 billion to $300 billion per year by 2030.

Macron is also expected to urge financial contributions to solving climate change problems and developing clean energy in developing countries.

"Rich countries continue to pretend that new schemes for businessmen to increase their profits will be the center of the solution for the poor".

On steps Nigeria has taken to meet its national goal in this respect, Buhari said the country has "embraced the issuance of the green bond as an innovative and alternative source of projects funding that would help reduce emissions and provide robust climate infrastructure, such as renewable energy, low carbon transport, water infrastructure and sustainable agriculture in line with the Paris Agreement".

"Its implementation is unstoppable", Hendricks continued, "in spite the US decision to withdraw".

"Large, listed companies must lead the way, " she said.

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