Statement on US withdrawal from Paris Agreement

Statement from Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic.

Paris, 1 June 2017

My dear compatriots,

I have decided to speak before you, mere hours after the announcement by the President of the United States of America, because these are serious times.

I have taken note of the American President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on the climate. I respect this sovereign decision, but I regret it. I believe that he has made a mistake, for the interests of his country and people, and a grave one for the future of our planet.

I have just spoken to President Trump and told him that.

Climate change is one of the great challenges of our times. What still seemed questionable just a few years ago is now clear and evident to us all. Biodiversity is under threat, while climate disruption is wreaking famine across several continents, devastating regions and forcing people from their home countries. In France itself, we are seeing the consequences of this disruption every year.

If we do nothing, our children will live in a world of migration, wars, shortages and disappearing archipelagos and coastal cities, caused by these changes. That has already begun.

This is not the future we want for ourselves. This is not the future we want for our children. This is not the future we want for the world.

France’s role is to fight these battles, in which humanity as a whole is at stake. That is why France has placed itself on the front line of the fight against climate change, resolutely committed in all international negotiations. In December 2015, France successfully pulled off the exploit of bringing 195 countries to sign a common commitment: the Paris Agreement on the climate.

So yes, tonight I am declaring to you, loud and clear: we will not renegotiate a less ambitious agreement. Whatever the circumstances.

Tonight, France calls upon all signatory countries to remain within the framework of the Paris Agreement, to remain equal to the responsibilities that are incumbent upon us and to give no ground.

Tonight, I want to declare to the United States: France believes in you. The world believes in you. I know that you are a very great nation, and that the United States was founded for the triumph of freedom, truth and reason against ignorance and darkness wherever it stands. But it is important to be very clear: on the climate, there is no Plan B, for there is no Planet B.

So yes, we will continue.

To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and committed citizens who are disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say this: you will find a second home in France. I call out to you: come to work here, with us, on concrete solutions for the climate.

Tonight, the United States has turned its back on the world. But France will not turn its back on the Americans. I assure you, my dear compatriots and those who are listening, wherever you are in the world, that France will not give up this fight.

Of course, we would have preferred to fight this battle alongside the United States of America. For they are our allies, and will remain our allies, in the fight against terrorism, on many defence and security issues, and in many industrial and economic areas. But that is how it is.

The door has not closed, and it never will close to this nation to which we owe so much. But there are still many of us who maintain our determination.

France will therefore play its role in the world, as that is what is expected of it. This very evening, with Germany and Italy, we were keen to reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement. A few minutes ago, I spoke to the German Chancellor, and in the coming days we will take strong initiatives in this direction. On Saturday, I will meet the Indian Prime Minister in Paris and will discuss this subject with him. In the coming days, I will speak to the main decision-makers to assure myself of their commitment.

Lastly, France will propose a concrete action plan in order to enhance its attractiveness for researchers and businesses in the area of the ecological transition and will take tangible steps, including in Europe and Africa. I have asked the government to work actively on this and I will convene it next week to discuss the subject.

We will not merely fulfil our past commitments. Starting this evening, France has to be even more ambitious for the future – for our future.

Long live the Republic! Long live France!

Last modified on 13/06/2017

top of the page