New French President Emmanuel Macron trolled President Trump in a televised speech Thursday, condemning the US leader’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement with a call to “make our planet great again”.
Speaking first in French, he then switched to English, addressing Trump directly with a play on his campaign slogan to “make America great again.” It was the first time a French President has ever given a speech in English from the Elysee Palace.
“On the climate there is no plan B because there is no planet B,” he said. This is a “mistake, both for the US and for our planet,” he continued.
He also offered refuge to American scientists, engineers and citizens who were disappointed by Trump’s announcement.
“They will find in France a second homeland. I call on them, come and work here with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate.”
He reaffirmed France’s commitment to the agreement and concluded: “Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again.”
Macron has been in office less than a month but he has already made it clear that he will not hold back when he disagrees with the US President.
After a tense handshake between the two men when they met in Brussels in May, Macron explained its significance in an interview with Journal du Dimanche.
“My handshake with him, it’s not innocent,” he said. “One must show that we won’t make little concessions, even symbolic ones… I don’t let anything go. That’s how one makes oneself respected.”
The handshake between Trump and Macron at the NATO summit in Brussels in May has been closely analyzed.
Earlier on Thursday, Macron had told Trump in a telephone call that the Paris agreement could not be renegotiated, according to a statement from the French President’s office.
The two countries would continue to work together, but not on the climate change issue, the statement said.
Macron was joined in his strong criticism Thursday by other European and world leaders. In a joint statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentilioni and Macron pledged to implement the Paris agreement and asserted that the accord could not be renegotiated.
In telephone calls with Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May also both expressed their disappointment with the decision.