If Donald Trump’s administration won’t support the work of climate scientists in the United States, France will.
That’s the message French President Emmanuel Macron will send on Monday when he officially awards grants to scientists in the United States to study climate change, which they will be able to do in France for the next three years of Trump’s term at institutions such as the La Sorbonne or Paris-Saclay, according to The Hill.
As you may recall, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this year, claiming that it was “unfair” to American businesses in a June statement.
“The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production,” Trump claimed. “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune.”
In fact, the United States is the only nation that has rejected the accords.
Macron and other world leaders criticized Trump’s decision. But, despite the lack of support by the American government, the rest of the world moved on and kept the agreement intact while vowing to reduce climate change with or without the United States.
In that effort, Macron announced the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative, which will provide grants totaling $70 million to 50 climate change research projects. The initiative is even open to climate scientists in the United States, who have seen their own government funding slashed as part of Trump’s effort to deny climate change and science.
And American scientists will be among those who will receive grant money on Monday.
In a further shot at Trump, the president has not been invited to the awards ceremony, which will take place prior to the United Nations and World Bank’s “One Planet Summit” on Tuesday, an event that Trump is also not invited to attend.
Trump is likely feeling humiliated by this news. But it’s the American people who should really feel embarrassed and ashamed. Trump’s decision hurt the reputation of our country around the globe and made us even more of an international laughingstock. The Paris agreement was a chance for America to lead in the fight to stop climate change, and Trump killed that chance. His rejection of science and climate funding is also sad because our own scientists are being forced to look to the rest of the world for funding they need to continue their crucial work.
American scientists should not have to rely on the charity of other nations to do their jobs. As hurricanes, drought, and wildfires continue to wreak havoc across the across the country, we need our scientists now more than ever before. But that’s not going to happen as long as Trump is in the White House. Until he is gone, we’ll have to hope that our scientists can keep working to find a solution to the problem, even if they have to do so in another country. And France is stepping up to lead while Trump pouts on the sidelines.
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