Macron Goads Trump, Promoting France as Hub for Climate Science

  • Government sets up website to attract environmental scientists
  • Website follows Macron outrage when U.S. quit climate deal

What the U.S. Departure Means for the Paris Agreement

French President Emmanuel Macron won plaudits at home and abroad when he trolled U.S. President Donald Trump on social media for abandoning the Paris climate accord. So he’s decided to keep at it.

The French government Thursday released a website -- www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr -- to entice U.S.-based scientists, entrepreneurs and students to pursue climate-related work in France, following the president’s personal appeal on June 1.

Hours after Trump said he was withdrawing from the Paris Accord on carbon emissions, Macron took to social media and -- speaking in English -- invited scientists to move to France from the U.S. He even parodied Trump’s signature campaign slogan with a call to “make our planet great again.” The French Foreign Ministry then released a video where it scribbles corrections over what it says were false assertions in the White House’s own video explaining why Trump decided to quit the pact.

The French leader’s strategy to be the thorn in Trump’s side is no coincidence. One of Macron’s close aides said the president sees his role as being a “gadfly” in international affairs -- an irritant who challenges the perceived complacency of others -- especially with a U.S. leader who has questioned his nation’s attachments to international treaties and historical alliances.

The site, which cost 22,000 euros ($25,000) to set up, at this point just has links to French universities and to agencies that promote investment in France, and doesn’t include any new projects.

The English-language website “aims to facilitate action for the protection of our planet and to help those who want to be involved in projects, pursue research, business activities, financing, or to set up in France,” Macron’s office said in a statement.

“This call to unite efforts for the protection of our planet shows France’s desire to play a leading role against climate warming,” it said.

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