On the two year anniversary of the Paris Agreement regarding climate change and how to fight it, a group of world leaders, scientists, and organizations met again in Paris for an invite-only conference on climate change. Distinctly absent from the invite list was US President Donald Trump.
The conference, called the One Planet Summit, was hosted by the UN, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the World Bank. In attendance were Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, former Secretary of State John Kerry, California governor Jerry Brown, as well as other heads of state and world leaders. The purpose of the summit was to secure public and private funding for the global transition to a carbon-free future.
French President Macron stated that Trump wasn’t invited specifically because he withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord. Macron also stated that he would reconsider inviting Trump had Trump shown any inclination that he’d changed his thinking about climate change. Clearly, Trump hasn’t changed his stance at all. His administration has undone Obama’s policies to limit green house admissions and continues to actively champion fossil fuels.
Even though President Trump wasn’t invited, other Americans did attend. One was former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who stated that it doesn’t matter if Trump is on board with the climate accord “because companies, scientists and other governments can ‘pick up the slack’ to reduce global emissions.”
To that end, President Macron announced the recipients of climate change grants, many of whom were US based researchers. Macron told the grant winners that they now have the option to relocate to France to continue their research.
I remember wondering exactly what Trump was talking about when he made his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”. Our country had problems, but I thought we were pretty great and was unsure how Trump could make it better. Clearly, his idea of greatness is returning our country to the Industrial Revolution.