France is the new leader of the free world, at least where climate change is concerned. After President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord in June, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday that France will cover the amount the U.S. contributed to the United Nations' climate science research.
“They will not miss a single euro,” Macron said, according to Reuters.
The U.N. panel receiving the funding is the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Previously, the U.S. gave the IPCC about two million euros a year.
When Trump announced his withdrawal of support and cooperation from the Paris agreement, he said it "disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries."
“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States,” Trump said in a White House statement on June 1. The Trump administration filed a formal notice with the U.N. in August that it would be leaving the agreement as soon as they are eligible to do so, which will not be until November 2020.
Macron has criticized President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, and he is not alone in the condemnation from world leaders and environmentalists, who all predict this could damage U.S. standing on international environmental concerns.
“I do respect his decision, but I do think it is an actual mistake, both for the United States and for the planet,” Macron said in an English-language speech at the Élysée Palace in June. “I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. There is no way… If we do nothing, our children will know a world of migrations, of wars, of shortage. A dangerous world.”
In July, France lead the way with a historic announcement regarding fossil fuels, announcing they will end the sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of its plan to honor the Paris Climate Accord. France is the first nation in the European Union to set a time limit for phasing out gas and diesel entirely.
Macron also released a video inviting American climate scientists to come to France, with the promise of support and millions in funding, to help battle and reverse climate change.
On the other hand, Trump's decision to withdraw support was met with widespread criticism. An official in Macron's cabinet said Trump is "for the time being" not invited to the climate change summit scheduled to be held next month in France, hosted by Macon, to discuss climate finance. The December 12 summit will include 100 countries and nongovernmental organizations, including Americans who defy Trump.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised an alliance of U.S. states, cities and companies called “America’s Pledge” to compensate for Trump’s decision. “I welcome this as it highlights the importance of climate protection in large parts of the U.S. regardless of the decision by President Trump to leave the Paris accord,” she said.
Former United States vice president and climate science advocate Al Gore tweeted his appreciation of Macron: "Thanks to President Macron for pledging to replace U.S. climate science funding. While you step up to fill the leadership void left by the Trump administration, America’s citizens, businesses, states & cities stand with you to meet our