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France pledges €30 million for foreign climate experts

France on Saturday made good on its promise to invite foreign climate change experts to the country, pledging €30 million to fund the work of up to 50 researchers.

France pledges €30 million for foreign climate experts
The City Hall in Paris was illuminated in green after Donald Trump said the US would withdraw from the climate change accord. Photo: AFP

The move comes two weeks after President Emmanuel Macron criticised his US counterpart Donald Trump for pulling out of the UN's Paris climate agreement – calling on US climate scientists and entrepreneurs to “come and work in France on concrete solutions for climate”.

Newly-elected Macron further needled Trump when he adapted the latter's nationalist slogan used by Trump on his election campaign trail by urging defenders of the climate to “make our planet great again”.

On Saturday, the French environment ministry said in a statement that Minister of Higher Education Frederique Vidal and investment commissioner Louis Schweitzer “have decided to set up a priority research program for the fight against climate change”.

The government will fund the initiative with €30 million ($34 million) of public money to match what it hopes will be another 30 million from universities and other organizations, making the total funding up to €60 million.

This would fund 50 researchers over five years, said the statement.

Macron, a 39-year-old centrist former banker who took office last month after a meteoric rise, has been the most vocal of European leaders in criticising Trump's decision and in vowing to defend the Paris agreement.

He launched a website last week aimed at attracting researchers, entrepreneurs and others to France to pursue efforts to combat climate change, using a cheeky twist of Trump's campaign slogan for the site's name: www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr.

EMMANUEL MACRON

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

 
The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.
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