- French President Emmanuel Macron is doubling down on his climate agenda.
- He told the UN General Assembly Tuesday that he’ll no longer make trade deals with countries that aren’t in the Paris Agreement. (The only country that hasn’t gotten on board is the US.)
- Then on Wednesday, Macron said one third of the global finance community needs to shift focus “from the day to day business, to the climate business.”
- “It’s good for the planet, but it’s good for you as well,” Macron said.
NEW YORK – French President Emmanuel Macron says when it comes to dealing with our warming Earth, “we are late,” and that it’s time for the world’s wealthiest financiers to keep the global temperature in check.
“We are lagging behind. We are not delivering following the line of Paris Agreement,” Macon said on Wednesday morning, speaking to Bill and Melinda Gates and a crowd gathered at the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers event.
The French president is asking some of the world’s top wealth funds to definitively back away from investing in companies that push fossil fuels out into the atmosphere, which help warm the planet.
“We have to shift one third of the global finance, the global asset managers and so on, from the day to day business, to the climate business,” Macron said on Wednesday.
It’s a plan that he’s been working on for a few months now.
In July, Macron gathered with several of the world’s leading wealth managers in Paris to chart strategies for pushing investors into more “climate-friendly” investment strategies, according to Reuters. The idea is for wealth managers to adopt a set of Earth-friendly guidelines for their investments – a set of rules that would push companies to reduce their carbon footprints and reliance on fossil fuels, in order to receive the investors’ money.
Macron, a former investment banker, says that kind of incentive strategy should create a powerful snowball effect, creating a new normal in the global finance industry.
“It’s just to say, we live on the same planet” Macron said. “You have to invest. It’s good for the planet, but it’s good for you as well.”
Macron believes there’s no time to spare.
The Paris agreement, which was originally signed in 2015, set a goal to keep the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels. Humans have already heated things up more than one degree Celsius since then, and recently, scientists warned that we could be on track to hit a dangerous tipping point, triggering an unprecedented temperature spike around the world.
“The first consequences of all these climate changes are here,” Macron said.
Recent World Bank projections suggest that climate change could force 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. “Everything is in a big time of acceleration,” Macron said.
Macron is toeing an increasingly hard line on climate issues.
While Trump’s been in New York touting his signature “America First” agenda this week (and drawing some un-stifled laughs from world leaders), Macron has pledged that France will no longer make trade deals with countries that don’t adhere to the Paris Agreement, as The Hill reported.
The only country in the world that’s not on board with the Paris Agreement right now is the US, so Macron is essentially pointing his finger at Trump with the new pledge.
Macron told Bill and Melinda Gates that he’s ready to work with any world leader who’s committed to moving the needle on climate change – not just the traditionally powerful members of the G7.
“I think it’s useful to have China around the table as well,” Macron said. “Because China is more and more committed on climate change.”
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