French President Emmanuel Macron benched the White House Monday by awarding 13 U.S. climate scientists millions of euros in grants and a chance to continue their research in France for the remainder of Donald Trump’s term.
The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants, first announced in June, are designed specifically to help offset the damage caused by the climate-change denying administration in Washington, which announced its withdrawal from the landmark 2015 Paris accord earlier this year.
More than 5,000 scientists from around the world applied for the funding; of the eighteen winners, the majority hailed from the United States. Macron has set aside €30 million ($35 million) for the grants, with a similar amount coming from French universities.
France will “be there” to replace American funding for climate science projects, Macron told the winners at an event in Paris.
“France and Europe will be the place where we will decide how to make our planet great again,” he added.
World leaders are scheduled to gather in the French capital Tuesday for the One Planet Summit, held on the second anniversary of the signing of the Paris accord, which pledged to keep global temperatures below a 2 degrees celsius increase this century.
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Fifty global leaders are expected to attend, as well as representatives from the World Bank and the United Nations.
Trump, who once called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, was reportedly left off the invite list. More