11, March 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed regret over a decision by United States under President Donald Trump to pull out of a major international agreement on climate preservation.
While in India, Macron hailed activism by groups like “solar mamas” in protection of the environment despite Trump’s move last June to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Accords, which sets benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent a further rise in global temperatures.
“They (solar mamas) started to act and to deliver concrete results. They didn’t wait and they didn’t stop because some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement,” Macron said in clear reference to the US under Trump which reversed the course set by former President Barack Obama, a major contributor to climate campaigns, and decided to pull out of the Paris deal.
Macron was in New Delhi to attend a meeting of the International Solar Alliance, a treaty-based international organization launched on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. The body led by India and France seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by promoting efficient exploitation of solar energy.
The French leader said his presence in the meeting showed that countries like France were determined to implement the Paris agreement despite opposition by Washington.
“… and that’s why we are here, in order to act very concretely,” Macron said, adding that women in the “solar mamas”, who are trained as solar engineers, , brought about a “big change” by acting on the pressing issue of environment.
“Because they decided it was good for them, for their children, their grandchildren. They decided to act and keep acting,” he said, explicitly bashing the US administration for ignoring global concerns about climate change.
Trump argued during his presidential campaign last year that the Paris Accords was a deal that favored countries like China and India and could hurt US labor by imposing restrictions on coal-dependent industries.