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13th-Dec-2017

On eve of climate summit, Macron reminds Trump of `responsibility to history`

By AFP, Washington

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday reminded his US counterpart Donald Trump of his responsibility to history over his decision to quit the Paris climate change agreement, in an interview aired on CBS.
Speaking on the eve of the One Planet Summit, two years to the day since 195 nations adopted the climate plan, Macron rejected the idea that Trump could negotiate a fresh deal and termed his withdrawal an "aggressive" maneuver.
The French president said: "I'm sorry to say that, it doesn't fly, so, so sorry but I think it is a big responsibility in front of the history, and I'm pretty sure that my friend President Trump will change his mind in the coming months or years, I do hope."
He added: "It's extremely aggressive to decide on its own just to leave, and no way to push the others to renegotiate because one decided to leave the floor.
"I'm not ready to renegotiate but I'm ready to welcome him if he decides to come back."
Asked about his relationship with the US president, Macron characterized it as "very direct," adding he had been frank about his opposition to Washington recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Two years on from the Paris Agreement, Macron will meet with world leaders on Tuesday, this time to talk about money.
Without trillions of dollars of investment in clean energy, the pact's goal to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels will remain a pipedream, observers and participants have warned.
Meanwhile, more than 50 world leaders are gathering in Paris for a summit that President Emmanuel Macron hopes will give new momentum to the fight against global warming, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord.
Some 3,100 security personnel are fanned out around Paris for Tuesday's event, including extra patrol boats along the Seine River. Macron will accompany the visiting leaders to the summit site on a river island by boat.
Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk are among prominent figures joining the world leaders at the summit, which marks the second anniversary of the Paris accord.
Participants are expected to announce billions of dollars' worth of projects to help poor countries and industries reduce emissions.
Macron, who's also using the event to raise his international profile, did not invite Trump.
Experts on the way climate change affects global security have launched a six-point action plan aimed at addressing threats created by problems such as water and food shortages.
The Hague Declaration on Planetary Security was unveiled Tuesday at a conference in the Dutch city, on the same day that dozens of world leaders met in Paris to reinvigorate the fight against global warming.
Participants at the Paris meeting are expected to announce billions of dollars' worth of projects to help poor countries and industries reduce emissions.
The Hague declaration calls for the United Nations to create a special "climate security" envoy, urges better coordination on international migration issues, and calls for cities to take climate risks into account when planning urban expansion.
It also urges action on three specific problems: Food shortages in Africa's Lake Chad Basin, security in Mali and water management in Iraq.
Norwegian pension fund Storebrand says it is launching a new $1.3-billion bond that will exclude investments in fossil fuel companies.
Storebrand, which has $80 billion in assets under management, says the new fund will take its total range of fossil-free equity funds to more than $3 billion.
Jan Erik Saugestad, the chief executive of Storebrand Asset Management, said Tuesday that the rise of such funds was a response to growing public concern over climate change.
Storebrand has already dumped its investments in companies deemed to be among the most polluting, in favor of renewable energy.
Saugestad said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord wouldn't hinder his company from investing in the United States. He noted that despite the rollback of the Clean Power Plan some $30 billion has been invested in solar and wind projects, while coal power plants have been retired in recent years.
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to reassure international players at a climate summit that Americans do want to fight global warming.