France to the Rescue: Macron Will Fund Grants for US Climate Scientists

Ever since the Trump administration took over the U.S. government, climate change science has taken a backseat. The president’s budget included incredible cuts to climate research grants, leaving scientists attempting to us the information necessary to avoid global catastrophe without funding to do their work.

Thank goodness for France because the nation is putting its money where its mouth is. In addition to hosting the world’s biggest climate summit, the country is sticking by its promise to fund some of the most critical ongoing climate research – particularly for U.S. scientists who have been shut out by their own government.

Altogether, France will shell out $60 million in grants to scientists working on roughly 50 projects over the next few years. On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron announced the first eighteen scientists selected to complete research that will inform future climate change policy.

While the majority of applicants (and winners) come from the United States, scientists from all nations have been permitted to apply, as well. (France, of course, funds its own scientists’ research in this field with other grants.) Selected scientists must move to France to complete their work.

In a nod to Trump’s obnoxious campaign slogan, Macron said, “France and Europe will be the place where we will decide how to make our planet great again.” It’s a joke he’s going all in, by naming the grants “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants.

Is it embarrassing that U.S. governmental officials aren’t willing to fund their own scientists on this crucial work? Absolutely, and hopefully France will take more opportunities to rub it in their faces further. American leaders should continually feel the embarrassment of willfully ignoring one of the most pressing issues of our time.

One of the grant recipients, Camille Parmesan, a doctor of biology, said it’s been discouraging to have to almost “hide” her research from the current American administration. “[It] gave me such a psychological boost to have that kind of support, to have [Macron] saying, ‘I value what you do,’” Parmesan said.

Macron had initially announced the grant idea just hours after Trump declared that he would pull of the Paris agreement. The message was clear: the rest of the world would do this without Trump’s cooperation, in part because someone has to.

There is a small amount of pushback coming from some within France about this allocation of money. Understandably, they wish more money were being spent on higher education in France to help develop the next generation of climate scientists.

Of course, climate change is too urgent to wait for the next generation of scientists – we also need our brightest working on it immediately. As much as France would probably like to take credit for its own scientists “solving” the threats of climate change, it realizes what’s most important is that research is tackling these

Climate change poses major problems for the entire planet, therefore it must be a collaborative effort. France seems to recognize that fact, while the White House is content to let the rest of the world pick up its slack.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

32 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams9 months ago

Thank you France!

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Janis K
Janis K9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara9 months ago

Trump will now be able to say no scientists working in the US believe in climate change... they'll all be in France and US science will be pitiful.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara9 months ago

Nice PR for Macron.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara9 months ago

France is still trying to make up for blowing up the Rainbow Warrior. Well, good move.

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Karin H
Karin Hanson9 months ago

Even the French can make DumbDonald look dumber than a doorknob!!

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Carole R
Carole R9 months ago

Good job, France.

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Muff-Anne York-Haley

Thankyou France:))

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Sherry K
Sherry Kohn9 months ago

Many thanks to you !

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