Paris (CNSNews.com) – Prominent American climate change campaigners had a message for the world at French President Emmanuel Macron’s “One Planet” summit in Paris this week: President Trump may have pulled out of the Paris climate accord, but the United States hasn’t.
The refrain was repeated in various ways by, among others, former California Governor and Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who serves as the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for “cities and climate change.”
“It doesn’t matter that Donald Trump backed out of the Paris agreement, because the private sector didn’t drop out, the public sector didn’t drop out, universities didn’t drop out, scientists didn’t drop out, engineers didn’t drop out, no one dropped out,” Schwarzenegger said at the event in the French capital.
“Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out of the Paris agreement, so don’t worry about any of that,” he said. “We at a sub-national level are going to pick up the slack and continue on.”
In his brief remarks, Bloomberg said, “If Donald Trump is not in, if our [federal] government is not in, we are in.”
Kerry pointed out that 38 U.S. states, “many of them Republican-led, have committed to reducing carbon emissions. That represents 80 percent of the American people.”
“The vast majority of American people are committed to live by the Paris agreement”, he added.
Macron is positioning himself as a global leader on the climate changes issue, and Schwarzenegger was one on the participants who lavished praised on him for doing so.
“We need a leadership in the battle against climate change and President Emmanuel Macron is the leader of this cause,” said Schwarzenegger – who made headlines cycling through Paris this week on a green bicycle.
Big announcements at the summit included Microsoft founder Bill Gates saying his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest about $300 million to help farmers in Africa and Asia deal with climate change.
French banks BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole, and AXA insurance also made commitments to invest in renewable energies and the energy transition.
On the eve of the event, Macron unveiled the first 18 winners, all climate scientists, of the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative, launched after Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris accord.
Thirteen of the 18 are Americans and Macron invited them to work in France.
The French state will make $35 million available for the project.
According to the National Center for Scientific Research, which falls under the French Ministry of Education and Research, winners will receive grants of up to 750,000 euros ($882,000) for senior scientists and 500,000 Euros ($588,000) for junior scientists.
The One Planet summit was held around the second anniversary of the U.N. conference that produced the Paris accord in 2015.
By moving economies from fossil fuels to “greener” alternatives, the agreement aims to prevent average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in order to avoid what campaigners warn could be potentially catastrophic effects on the planet.