Macron urges Congress on climate change: 'There is no Planet B'

By Sara Shayanian, Ed Adamczyk and Danielle Haynes  |  Updated April 25, 2018 at 7:28 PM
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April 25 (UPI) -- French President Emmanuel Macron struck a globalist, progressive tone in his address Wednesday to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, including a call to fight climate change.

Speaking in heavily accented English, the French leader offered a profoundly liberal view of his aspirations for the future. Members of Congress cheered on many of his points.

Like U.S. President Donald Trump, Macron condemned "fake news," calling it a "corrosion of information" and firmly stated, "Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons, not now, not in five years, not in 10 years, never."

Macron also said he opposes "the illusion of nationalism" and "massive deregulation and extreme nationalism."

Macron argued for action to fight climate change, saying he expects the United States will one day rejoin the Paris agreement. Trump announced last year that the United States would pull out of the pact.

"I believe in these rights and values...against the threats on the planet, science," Macron said. "I'm sure one day the United States will come back.

"I believe in building a better future for our children, which requires offering them a planet that is still habitable in 25 years," he added. "We are killing our planet.

"Let's face it -- there is no 'Planet B.'"

Macron's visit to Congress happened on the same day in 1960 that former French President Charles de Gaulle spoke to both chambers at the Capitol.

Later Wednesday, the French president told reporters that despite his attempts to persuade Trump to stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, he believes he will pull the United States out of the Iran deal.

"My view -- I don't know what your president will decide -- is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons," Macron said.

"It can work in the short term but it's very insane in the medium to long term," he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to visit the United States later this week. She's also expected to pressure Trump on the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron's address came after he spent two days with Trump discussing a range of policy issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, the Syrian civil war, North Korea and Russia.

On Tuesday night, the Trumps hosted their first state dinner at the White House for Macron and his wife.

During the dinner, Trump toasted the "nearly two-and-a-half centuries of friendship" between the United States and France.

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