‘No Planet B,’ Macron Tells Congress, Defending Climate Deal

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By Dean Scott

French President Emmanuel Macron urged Congress April 25 to reconsider having the U.S. walk away from the Paris climate pact and work with other nations to build a low-carbon economy.

“We’re killing our planet. Let us face it. There is no planet B,” Macron said in a speech to a joint session of Congress.

Although he acknowledged “disagreements between the United States and France,” he likened them to a family squabble.

“I’m sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris Agreement. And I’m sure we can work together to fulfill with you the ambitions of the global compact on the environment,” Macron said, referring to the global climate deal that nearly 200 nations agreed to at 2015 talks hosted by France.

‘We Have a Lot in Common’

The French president added that while there are concerns in transitioning to clean energy sources, “We must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Macron is in the U.S. this week to meet with President Donald Trump on a host of issues, including the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron said April 25 that he and Trump discussed the U.S. president’s June 2017 decision to begin pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. The French leader signaled that he continues to discuss ways to improve international cooperation, including around the margins, on efforts to combat climate change.

“We know everything about the treaties and the international agreements, but I think beyond that, we have a lot in common to work on, and we will follow up this discussion in the coming weeks and months,” Macron told reporters April 25.

Trump in January cast doubt on the science of climate change but said he’d be open to keeping the U.S. in the Paris accord, partly because of his warm relationship with Macron. The U.S. cannot formally withdraw until 2020.

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