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Emmanuel Macron to offer US climate change scientists multi-year grants to counter Trump’s withdrawal from Paris agreement

French leader has promised to replace every dollar which has been rescinded from US funding

Monday 11 December 2017 18:49 GMT
Macron has previously spoken out against Trump's stance towards global warming
Macron has previously spoken out against Trump's stance towards global warming (Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to award a number of US based climate scientists, multi-year, all-expenses-paid grants to relocate to France.

The "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants are part of Mr Macron's efforts to counter US President Donald Trump on the climate change front.

The French leader announced a competition for the projects in June, hours after Mr Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the 2015 global accord reached in Paris to reduce climate-damaging emissions.

Mr Macron is unveiling the first winners at a start-up incubator in Paris called Station F, where Microsoft and smaller tech companies are announcing projects to finance activities aimed at reducing emissions.

They are aimed at giving new impetus to the Paris accord and finding new funding to help governments and businesses meet its goals.

More than 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for the One Planet Summit, co-hosted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Mr Trump was not invited.

Initially aimed at American researchers, the research grants were expanded to other non-French climate scientists, according to organisers. Candidates need to be known for working on climate issues, have completed a thesis and propose a project that would take between three to five years.

The time frame would cover Mr Trump's current presidential term.

The applicant list was whittled down to 90 finalists in September, the majority of them Americans or based in the US, according to French national research agency CNRS.

About 50 projects will be chosen overall, and funded with 60 million euros (£53 million) from the state and French research institutes.

However, some French researchers have complained that Macron is showering money on foreign scientists at a time when they have been pleading for more support for domestic higher education.


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