The Latest on the French president’s climate change grants (all times local):
Arnold Schwarzenegger is arguing that U.S. President Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate accord doesn’t matter, because companies, scientists and other governments can “pick up the slack” to reduce global emissions.
The Hollywood star and former California governor took a spin on a Parisian electric bike Monday as part of events leading up to an international climate summit Tuesday hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Schwarzenegger said “Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out of the Paris agreement,” but many in the private sector, cities and state governments, engineers and universities remain committed to fighting climate change.
A prominent environmental campaigner, Schwarzenegger acknowledged that many people “don’t understand what global warming or climate change really means,” and urged environmental activists to focus on efforts to fight pollution instead because of its health risks.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants initially were aimed at American climate change researchers, but competition has been expanded to other non-French climate scientists.
Macron is unveiling the first winners Monday evening at a startup incubator in Paris called Station F, where Microsoft and smaller tech companies are announcing projects to finance activities aimed at reducing emissions.
French national research agency CNRS says the applicant list was whittled down to 90 finalists in September, the majority of them Americans or based in the U.S.
About 50 projects will be chosen overall, and funded with 60 million euros ($70 million) from the state and French research institutes.
Some French researchers have complained that Macron is showering money on foreign scientists while they are pleading for more support for domestic higher education.
Several U.S.-based climate scientists are about to win multi-year, all-expenses-paid grants to relocate to France.
The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants are an effort by French President Emmanuel Macron to counter U.S. President Donald Trump on the climate change front.
Macron announced a competition for the grants hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the U.S. from the global accord reached in Paris in 2015 to reduce climate-damaging emissions.
Macron is unveiling the winners Monday evening ahead of a climate summit Tuesday aimed at giving new impetus to the Paris accord and finding new funding to help governments and businesses meet its goals.
More than 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for the “One Planet Summit,” co-hosted by the U.N. and the World Bank. Trump was not invited.