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Donald Trump blames the Paris climate agreement for the violence in the French capital

‘The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris’

Chiara Giordano
Saturday 08 December 2018 13:59 GMT
Armoured police vehicles meet with 'gilet jaunes' protesters and fire burns on Paris streets

Donald Trump has blamed the Paris climate change agreement for ongoing violence in the French capital.

The US president tweeted on Saturday: “The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris.

“Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France.”

He later added: “After two years and millions of pages of documents (and a cost of over $30,000,000), no collusion!”

It was unclear whether protesters were expressing their affection for the US president.

His comments came as almost 90,000 police officers were deployed across France on Saturday, including 8,000 in Paris alone.

France’s capital has been plagued by unrest since 17 November as anti-government protesters react to a sharp spike in diesel taxes.

So far four people have been killed in accidents, and dozens injured in the “yellow vests” movement – in reference to the fluorescent safety outfit French motorists keep in their cars.

Protesters billed their planned action on Saturday as “Act IV” of the worst unrest seen in the capital since the 1968 student riots.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said the three-week revolt had “created a monster” and vowed police would have no tolerance for violence.

“According to the information we have, some radicalised and rebellious people will try to get mobilised tomorrow,” he told reporters ahead of the protests. “These last three weeks have created a monster. Our security forces will respond with firmness and I will have no tolerance for anyone who capitalises on the distress of our citizens.”

Senior allies of French president Emmanuel Macron – who has now scrapped the fuel tax rise in response to the protests – have said he will address the nation early next week.

Mr Trump has long called climate change “a hoax” – and has even said he doesn’t believe his own administration’s report on the issue.

After the nearly 1,700-page National Climate Assessment report, compiled by 13 federal agencies, was published last month he said: “I don’t believe it.”

The report highlighted the dire economic effects of not taking steps to combat climate change and contain global warming to 2C.

The Paris climate agreement, adopted at a previous United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015, set out plans for nations to keep global warming below a target threshold.

Governments agreed to keep the increase in global average temperature to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels, with a stretch target to limit the increase to 1.5C.

The document has been ratified by 184 parties, and it entered into force in November 2016.

Since then scientists have been investigating what these different temperature outcomes would mean for the planet.

These efforts were summarised in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent report, which painted a picture of coral reefs dying, vanishing Arctic sea ice and climate refugees forced from their homes by rising tides.

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