President Trump’s recent visit to France may have brought about an extraordinary policy reversal from the Trump administration on the Paris climate deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron told France’s le Journal du Dimanche that during Trump’s official visit to France for Bastille Day, the two world leaders talked about the links between climate change and terrorism — the latter being major point of focus for the Trump administration. According to Macron, President Trump is aiming to put together a fix for the United States to rejoin the Paris climate accords that Trump suddenly pulled out of earlier this year.
“[Trump] understood the sense of my approach, notably the link that exists between global warming and terrorism. He told me he would try to find a solution in the coming months,” Macron said, adding that the two talked “in detail” about how to get the U.S. to rejoin the historic 192-nation agreement to curb carbon emissions over the coming decades.
Macron isn’t wrong in stating a link between climate change and terrorism. According to a April 2017 report by the Berlin-based Adelphi think tank, terror groups will likely try to capitalize on instability from food and water shortages and the higher frequency of natural disasters to bolster recruitment efforts.
“The scarcer resources become, the more power is given to those who control them, especially in regions where people are particularly reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods,” wrote Adelphi scholar Lukas Rüttinger in the report, commissioned by the German foreign office.
President Trump reversing his decision to quit the Paris accords would also be in line with what billionaire Richard Branson told reporters this past weekend, saying that he had a feeling that Trump — whom he initially met several years ago — secretly regretted his decision to pull out of the Paris agreement. However, he also acknowledged that it’s hard to predict what Trump will do.
“Trump had hundreds of the most influential business leaders in the world speaking to him and he ignored them, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll change his mind,” Branson told an audience in Brooklyn, New York.
“Who knows what goes in there,” Branson added, gesturing toward his head. “The Paris decision was a bizarre mistake.”
In the days prior to pulling out of the Paris agreement, President Trump was reportedly lobbied heavily to remain in the agreement by both First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who are both serving as presidential advisors in the Trump White House. Pope Francis also urged Trump to not pull out of the accords, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil.
As of this writing, there has not yet been an official statement from the Trump administration on rejoining the Paris agreement.
Scott Alden covers national politics, education, and environmental issues for Grit Post. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in Inkster, Michigan.