After President Donald Trump dealt a blow to the global community by pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement to fight climate change, the president of France turned to another American ally: the American citizen.
In an official statement released Thursday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron said he respected Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord but called the move “an actual mistake.” He then called on American scientists and citizens to sidestep Trump by working directly with France and European researchers on solving the global issue of climate change.
“To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland,” Macron said in a video posted to Facebook.
“I call on them, come and work here with us to work together on concrete solutions for our planet, our environment. I can assure you France will not give up the fight.”
Leaders from Italy and Germany joined the French president in a separate statement released Thursday, saying they regret Trump’s decision and noting that the Paris climate agreement could not be renegotiated.
When Macron was still a presidential candidate in February, he also asked climate scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. to seek refuge from Trump’s climate change skepticism and join French efforts.
“Please, come to France. Your are welcome, it’s your nation,” Macron said in a video published earlier this year. “We want innovative people. We want people working on climate change, energy, renewables and new technologies.”
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the historic deal makes the U.S. one of only three countries in the world not participating in the international agreement to curb global warming. The other two countries are Syria, which is in the midst of a civil war, and Nicaragua, whose leaders argued that the agreement wasn’t strong enough.
Macron concluded his statement on Thursday with one of Trump’s familiar refrains, only this time, it was edited to fit the Paris agreement’s main purpose: “Make our planet great again. Thank you.”