‘Make Our Planet Great Again’: France Attracts Climate Scientists

December 12, 2017

Eighteen climate researchers, 13 of whom come from the U.S., have won grants under France’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative to attract foreign researchers on climate change, the Associated Press reported. French President Emmanuel Macron announced the cheekily named program -- which echoes President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan -- after Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. The program offered 60 million euros (about $70 million) in total funding to foreign researchers who would relocate to France for multiyear projects, with grants ranging from €1 million to €1.5 million (about $1.2 million to $1.8 million).

One of the winners, Camille Parmesan, of the University of Texas at Austin, told the Associated Press that Macron’s call for climate researchers “gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying, ‘I value what you do.’” She will be studying the effects of climate change on wildlife from a research station in the Pyrenees.

A second grant competition will be held next year in cooperation with Germany. A total of 50 projects are expected to be funded.

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