The French President, Emmanuel Macron, is on the move. He has already visited India, USA, Australia and several other countries around the world in the first half of this year. He plans to strengthen ties between France and these nations by selling more French technology and products to other countries, setting favourable trade deals, and also helping countries invest in sources of renewable energy.
India: In March 2018, Macron visited India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
One of the highlights of his trip was his commitment to help India increase its solar power capacity. He inaugurated a solar plant built by French electric company, Engie, in Uttar Pradesh.
Macron also signed a deal committing 700 million euros to the International Solar Alliance (ISA). This is an alliance that was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. Its aim is to promote solar energy in 121 countries, and will help countries with solar power generation, storage, and technology.
USA: Macron urged President Trump to keep the US in the Iran agreement, and to stay in the Paris climate change agreement.
The Iran agreement: In 2015, leaders from six nations made an agreement with Iran. These six countries are the USA, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. The nations would lift sanctions on the Middle Eastern country if Iran would put limits on its nuclear energy program. Leaders were worried that Iran would use the program to make dangerous weapons. US President Donald Trump has spoken out against the deal. He has said he does not want to be a part of it, as he doesn’t agree with the terms. Macron supports parts of the deal and wants Trump to stay involved. He has suggested making a new deal.
The Paris Climate Change Agreement: This agreement, put in place in 2016, has been signed by most countries in the world, and formalises their pledge to move to cleaner forms of energy to reduce global warming in order to benefit our planet. Trump said that he would take the USA out of this agreement very soon after starting his job as the President of the country. He said that this agreement would make things much more expensive for the US. Macron urged the President and US Congress to change their minds on this. In his words, ‘there is no Planet B’ – meaning, we don’t have another planet that we humans can inhabit, and we must take care of the one we have now.
He hopes that the U.S. will rejoin the Paris agreement reached under Obama that is intended to curb carbon emissions.