Emmanuel Macron received a standing ovation on Wednesday after calling for the US to take a stronger approach on climate change, telling them: “There is no Planet B.”
Addressing a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, the French President used one of President Donald Trump’s favourite catchlines to make his point, urging the US to work with France to “make this planet great again”.
Macron also told the US to reject nationalism and stay true to global ideals of co-operation in the face of terrorism and other challenges, saying countries can still retain their own identities.
“I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom and the illusion of nationalism,” Macron said.
“We can choose isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism ― this is an option. It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy for our fears. But closing the door to the world, will not stop the evolution of the world.”
Macron’s speech to US politicians, in English, contrasted to the ‘bromance’ between the two presidents over the previous two days
While underlining how a Franco-American alliance was needed to confront a “new world order” marked by violence and conflict, Macron once again advocated the Paris climate agreement - the pact Trump announced that the US would withdraw from last June.
He demanded again that the US do its part to provide future generations with “a planet that is still habitable in 25 years”.
He asked: “What is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, sacrificing the future of our children?”
The line received the most enthusiastic of the standing ovations, largely driven by Democratic members of Congress. Macron even suggested the US will re-enter the Paris deal “one day”.
The French President went on to challenge Trump again on ripping up the Iran nuclear agreement, which was agreed during the Obama administration.
Macron said on Wednesday that France doesn’t plan to leave the agreement but is happy to work with Trump in crafting a new, more comprehensive deal that addresses some of the issues that both countries feel were left out of the current deal.