First it was a strong handshake. Now it is a policy rebuke. France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, is relentless in his efforts to one-up his US counterpart, Donald Trump.
Last week, Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement. Today, France’s president announced that he will push the country to go beyond its commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions under the agreement, which was signed in 2015.
“There is momentum and France wants to seize it. President Trump’s decision gives us the opportunity to accelerate these decisions and policies,” a source in Macron’s office told Reuters.
A list of policy actions will be issued in the next two weeks. They are likely to include initiatives like a minimum price for carbon-emission credits, financing for green initiatives, and more funds for renewable energy.
The French government has launched a website to attract climate researchers from the US, following through on the offer Macron made in a public address on the day of Trump’s withdrawal announcement.
France emits 5.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases per person per year, compared with 16.4 tons in the US, according to the World Bank.