Davos 2018: Emmanuel Macron draws laugh with dig at Donald Trump over climate change scepticism

The US President has repeatedly dismissed climate change science as 'a hoax'

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 25 January 2018 19:59 GMT
Emmanuel Macron takes a swipe at Donald Trump over climate change

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French President Emanuel Macron has poked fun at Donald Trump’s refusal to accept climate change science, by joking to delegates at Davos they had not this year invited anyone who was “skeptical” about global warming.

Mr Macron, who last month hosted world leaders in Paris to press ahead with their commitments under the Paris Accord, commented to attendees about the heavy snowfall in Davos.

“When you arrive here and see the snow, it could be hard to believe in global warming,” Mr Macron said to a audience full of business leaders and politicians.

“Obviously you [didn’t] invite anyone skeptical about global warming this year.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly rejected climate science and told people be believes much of it is “a hoax”. Despite intense lobbying from international leaders such as Mr Macron, Mr Trump withdrew the US from the accord, putting the US and Syria in a group of two nations who did not support it.

Mr Macron has continued to lobby the US and persuade Mr Trump to re-enter the accord. He will have further opportunity to do so when he visits the US; the White House confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Macron would be the guest of honour at Mr Trump’s first state dinner at the White House. No date was announced.

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Last summer, Mr Trump and the First Lady, Melania Trump, were Mr Macron’s guests in Paris for Bastille Day celebrations.

According to USA Today, Mr Macron also told delegates “a stronger Europe” was needed to avoid problems with people who feel they have been “forgotten and left behind”.

He called on world leaders to act in a multilateral way when confronting challenges from nations including North Korea and Iran, and when fighting extremist groups to avoid “fracturing of the region”. The Trump administration has threatened to withdraw from an international accord with Iran that freezes its nuclear weapons program

“We’ve got not only to win the war against terrorism but we’ve got to create conditions for durable peace,” said the French leader.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni echoed Mr Macron’s sentiments, calling for a stronger Europe, and for a rejection of Mr Trump’s “America First” economic and trade policy.

“We cannot end up in a world with a cosmopolitan digital elite and an army of discontented workers,” said Mr Gentiloni said. “Our history and roots are not synonymous with protectionism.”

The US has yet to respond to Mr Macron’s joke. Mr Trump is due to make his Davos address on Friday.

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