With his fierce handshake and harsh words, France’s new president is on an anti-Trump bender.
On the evening of Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would pull out of the Paris climate deal, Emmanuel Macron launched a three-pronged communications blitz against Trump about the perilous consequences of his decision.
He spoke to the US president for five minutes in a “direct” exchange via telephone after Trump’s announcement, according to a French presidential source. Macron reportedly told Trump that France would keep working with the US, but not on climate change. He also issued a joint statement with Germany and Italy affirming that the Paris accords would not be renegotiated.
But his strongest reprimand came in a televised address the same night from the Élysée Palace. Macron, who entered office less than a month ago, gave the address in French and English, making him the first French president (link in French) to stray from the cherished national tongue by speaking to his country and the world in English from the Élysée. While he started off in French, he briskly moved into a 3-minute lecture in English on Trump’s “error for the interests of his country, his people and a mistake for the future of our planet.”
“Don’t be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B,” he said.
Macron went on to beckon American scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and committed citizens to “find in France a second homeland. I call on them: ‘Come here with us to work together on concrete solutions for our climate.'”
In a nod to Trump’s bravado about US power, Macron reassured Americans that “the world believes in you. I know that you are a great nation.” He wrapped it all up quite neatly, asking the world to abide by words Trump would understand: “Make our planet great again.”