French President Addresses US Congress
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Calling for Unity and Engagement
This past week, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the US Congress. He took the opportunity to remind the country’s elected leaders of their nation’s relationship with France and the world. The environmental, political, economic, and security issues are many and complex. It will require cooperation and engagement.
This comes as a sharp contrast to the rhetoric and actions of the current US President. The American executive administration has not only chosen to follow a policy of isolationism and division, but it is also blatantly turning away from the scientific consensus calling for urgent climate action.
Action desperate is needed! If the world was waiting on US leadership, they are forced to wait on a new American president. 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. Instead, the current White House administration is focused on “America First” (regardless of it being non-applicable to climate change).
There Is No Planet B
During the address, Macron made an impassioned plea to the US. He asked 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.
Macron approached the US Congress as a friend. He 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 was 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 for the climate conscious! Hearing words of compassion and concern from a sitting president definitely helps in the hope department. Action would be better of course, but it does start with vision and communication.
In that regard, the French president was spot on. Macron asked that the US look to help “Make the Planet Great Again,” and join its allies in the struggle to preserve our planet’s environmental stability. Sustainably Motivated couldn’t agree more! We can only hope that US voters will listen.