PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron posted a selfie video on social media platforms on Saturday asking the public to send him questions about what France should do about climate change and biodiversity.
Thousands of responses quickly poured in. Several were hostile or questioned his sincerity, but they also included tough questions about fossil fuel subsidies, sea pollution and nuclear power.
Macron, who will take part in the UN climate talks open in Egypt on Sundaypromised to answer questions as early as next week.
In the video, he read a letter from the public asking why he’s not declaring an “environmental state of emergency.” He said the letter “prompted me to ask questions about what we are doing in the face of this ecological challenge, the challenge of our generation”.
Early in his presidency, Macron pledged to make tackling climate change a top priority, but he has faced widespread criticism for not instituting enough tangible change.
At the COP27 talks in Egypt on Monday, Macron is expected to discuss climate finance, forest protection, Africa’s Great Green Wall and other climate adaptation measures, according to his office.
He is also expected to highlight the importance – and the challenge – of meeting climate commitments as Europe faces an energy crisis stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
These are all key questions at the climate talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which is expected to include more than 120 world leaders and take place from November 6-18.
Laurent Fabius, the French diplomat who chaired the 2015 UN talks that culminated in the Paris climate accord, appealed to those gathering in Egypt on Saturday: “Keep in mind that the most beautiful announcements mean nothing if they are not supported by precise and rapid policies and actions.
Follow AP’s climate and environmental coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment
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