French President Addresses US Congress
Calling for Unity and Engagement
This past week French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the US Congress, reminding the country’s elected leaders of their nation’s relationship with France and the world. The environmental, political, economic, and security issues facing the world today are complex and require cooperation and engagement.
This comes as a sharp contrast to the rhetoric and actions of the current US President who not only choses to follow a policy of isolationism and division, but is also blatantly turning away from the scientific consensus in the need for urgent climate action.
Indeed, Trump announced back in June of 2017 that he will be withdrawing the US (the only country to do so) from the historic Paris Climate Agreement. The landmark accord was established to bring all countries of the world together in reducing carbon emissions and fighting catastrophic climate change.
There is no Planet B
Macron made an impassioned plea to the US, asking them to return to the Paris Agreement, return to multilateralism, cooperation, and progress (see Saving Democracy). An inward perspective will not help the US get any stronger, on the contrary it is dangerous and destabilizing.
The French President made these affirmations despite his seemingly convivial relationship with Trump. It does appear that Trump and Macron somehow hit it off on a personal level, but there is certainly a stark contrast when it comes to their views on policy. Yet Macron did approach the US Congress as a friend, and reminded them of the dangers of climate change and the need to protect the environment for future generations. It was as a friend, that the French President implored the US to remain in the Iran Deal.
Finally, it is as a friend and world leader, that the French President encouraged the United States to participate in peaceful resolutions, and climate action. It was a great moral boost to watch, and reassuring to hear these words of compassion and concern from a sitting president. He asked that the US look to help “Make the Planet Great Again,” and join its allies in the struggle to preserve the Earth’s environmental stability. Sustainably Motivated couldn’t agree more! We can only hope that US voters will listen.