World is Losing Battle Against Climate Change- French President
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday told dozens of world leaders and company bosses gathered at a climate summit in Paris that “we are losing the battle” against climate change.
“We’re not moving quick enough. We all need to act,” Macron said, seeking to breath new life into efforts to combat global warming after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an international accord brokered in the French capital two years ago.
More symbolic than policy-driven, Tuesday’s summit comes two years after the landmark “COP21” conference in Paris, where 196 participating countries — including the United States — vowed to keep this century’s global temperature increase below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In one of the most controversial moments of his young presidency, President Trump announced in June that the United States would leave the Paris accord.
The United States is now the only nation on Earth to have rejected the global pact.
Although the rest of the world — and much of the United States — has continued working to meet the Paris commitments, French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump’s decision “very bad news” and cautioned against complacency.
The “One Planet” summit focused on practical ways to continue meeting climate goals without the participation of the U.S. government. The main emphasis was private financing for climate initiatives in the United States and elsewhere. A major goal of the summit was to encourage private investors to fill the annual gap of $210 billion needed to meet the requirements of the Paris agreement.
Toward that end, the summit did secure some major commitments. The Gates Foundation, for instance, announced Tuesday that it would pledge $300 million over the next three years to support farmers in Africa and Asia struggling with the effects of climate change: diminished soil fertility, extreme weather and crop pests, among others. Earlier this year, the foundation had pledged a separate $300 million to benefit public health and poverty reduction programs in Tanzania.
AXA, the world’s third-largest insurance company, announced further reductions of coal investments by an additional 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion). And the World Bank — to meet its Paris commitments faster — said it would stop financing projects involving upstream oil and gas beginning in 2019. Other U.S. philanthropic organizations also supported the cause. On Monday, the Hewlett Foundation pledged $600 million over five years to nonprofits working on climate change issues.