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article imageU.S. climate scientists get $70 million in grants from France

By Karen Graham     Dec 12, 2017 in Environment
Paris - Over 50 world leaders, bankers, energy magnates and other well-known figures are meeting today for the "One Planet Summit" in Paris. On Monday, French president Emmanuel Macron awarded $70 million in grants to U.S. climate scientists.
U.S. President Donald Trump was not invited to the One Planet Summit, but representing the federal government was the second-highest diplomat in the American embassy in Paris, Brent Hardt.
Also in attendance are Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Governor Jerry Brown of California, as well as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has put together a coalition of cities, companies, and activists called "America's Pledge," representing over half of the U.S. economy.
Even though the start of the summit has been overshadowed by Trump's decision in June to pull out of the pact, which had taken nearly 200 nations more than two decades to negotiate, French President Emmanuel Macron made good on statements that France is willing to reward America's climate researchers now that the U.S. has backed out of the Paris global warming accord.
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg  seen with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Pa...
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, seen with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace during the One Planet Summit, says President Trump's brushing off of climate issues is rallying people outside government to the cause
Make Our Planet Great Again grants
On Monday, President Macron handed out 13 of 18 "Make our Planet Great Again" grants worth millions of euros to US-based climate scientists.
"You will now settle in, develop projects, enrich French, European research because we've decided to give even bigger resources and to fully recognize what you are doing," Macron said in a speech at Paris startup hub Station F, reports Engadget.
And while CTV News Canada write the "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants are a nod to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan, President Macron was not shy about the grants being an obvious joke on Trump's "jingoism."
Macron said they're a direct response to the Paris pullout. "The U.S. did sign the Paris Agreement," he told CBS. "It's extremely aggressive to decide on [your] own just to leave."
President Macron says the reaction of many leaders around the world caused consternation, but it actually energized the climate movement. "It's a deep wakeup call for the private sectors and some of us to say, 'Wow, so we have to react,' " he said. "If we decide not to move and not change our way to produce, to invest, to behave, we will be responsible for billions of victims."
Scientists elated at receiving grants
At first, the grants were open to U.S. scientists, but it was decided to open them to scientists in other countries. The grants will allow researchers to relocate to France for the remainder of Trump's time in office. (That makes it pretty obvious, doesn't it?).
But scientists receiving the grants are elated. France's grants "gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do," US winner Camille Parmesan told the AP. She'll work in the Pyrenees mountains, studying how human-caused climate change influences wild animals.
More about France, climate scientists, Donald trump, One Planet Summit, Global warming
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