Emmanuel Macron was En Marche to win the French presidency and now he’s en marche to combat climate change. On Wednesday, September 26th, France’s president again urged citizens and governments to take action against climate change at the 2018 One Planet Summit in New York, New York. Sponsored by Bloomberg, the United Nations (UN), and the World Bank, the summit unites leaders and policymakers from countries around the world to address the growing concern for climate change and other environmental issues. This year marks the second iteration of this summit, following the first in 2017 in Paris, France.
Established by President Macron, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, and the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, the initiative aims to globalize the fight against climate change. Macron has committed to tackling this issue with or without the aid of other states. “Climate change is not an agreement or a decision made by heads of states and governments,’’ asserted Macron in his opening remarks at the summit. Though committed to acting with or without global aid, the French president argued for multilateralism, or the cooperation of many nations in pursuit of a common goal, to combat this world-wide issue.
“We are not here just to speak, but to be accountable,” stated Macron during his introduction, indicating his disdain for do-nothing world leaders. “What we need most, is action,” he continues, “… then we will see what is working and what is not working.” Some might call his words hypocritical, considering the French environment minister Nicolas Hulot quit on a live radio show at the end of August, citing the fact that the French government is not doing enough to counteract climate change.
“The mindset of a lot of people is changing,” explained Macron, adding “we need to push people to invest more in green energy, and create new incentives.”
While beginning the summit to his receptive audience, Macron affirmed that “one decision” will not destabilize the Paris Agreement. Without explicitly mentioning the US, who is one of the two countries, the other being Syria, not in the Paris Agreement, Macron made clear that the Paris Agreement will continue with or without the participation of the US.
At the pre-summit Goalkeepers event, Macron discussed the progress he hopes to inspire in the world. “Accountability and pragmatism,” he notes, are necessary in order to address the three big issues: climate change and the Paris Agreement, education in underdeveloped countries — especially for young women — and also world health. For Macron, we must “work together and unify efforts” on these specific concerns.
France’s call to arms, lead by the French president, intends to inspire other countries to combat these global concerns. The further ignorance of climate change against all scientific evidence is, as stated by Macron, “pure bullshit.”
Featured image: Stock Photos from Drop of Light/Shutterstock