- French President Emmanuel Macron called for the US to protect the planet and rejoin the Paris Climate Accord during a speech to a joint meeting of Congress.
- Republicans groaned and dismissed Macron’s message about climate change, while Democrats cheered.
WASHINGTON — French President Emmanuel Macron irked Republicans during his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday by mentioning “science” and the need for preserving the planet.
Macron touched on various subjects throughout the speech, including climate change and his desire for the US to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Let us work together in order to make our planet great again, and create new jobs and new opportunities, ones of guarding our earth,” Macron said in an attempt to play on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”
“I am sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris climate agreement,” Macron added, telling the audience of lawmakers that “there is no planet B.”
The reactions during the speech from Republicans and Democrats were polar opposites. Democrats applauded and cheered at Macron’s remarks. At one point, New York Rep. Joe Crowley shouted, “Vive la France!” from his seat in the chamber.
At mentions of climate, science, and not reneging on the Paris agreement, many Republicans did not clap or stand and delivered dramatic eye-rolls.
“French President is a socialist militarist globalist science-alarmist…,” wrote Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie on Twitter. “[T]he dark future of the American Democratic Party.”
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican, told Business Insider that he thinks many Republicans just do not like the specifics of the Paris Climate Accord, rather than being overall skeptics of climate change.
“I think there’s a recognition that the climate accords are symbolic,” Cassidy said. “It’s given a free pass to the world’s largest polluters.”
Cassidy added that he thinks the Paris agreement lets too many countries not keep their word and if such things were fixed, more Republicans would get on board.
“Now this is an accord I want to be part of and so if we’re willing to address that squarely, I think there’s gonna be a lot of interest,” Cassidy said. “If we’re going to paper over it with goals that nobody is reaching except maybe the US — and we’re doing it with natural gas — if we have that honest discussion I think there’ll be a lot of interest in pursuing it.”
The White House announced the US would withdraw from the Paris agreement last June, fulfilling a long-held campaign promise to exit the deal.
“We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said last year. “If we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”