|Rabin, Clinton, Arafat in 1993|
Jean d'Ormesson, writer, philosopher, newspaper commentator, and the most visible member of the prestigious Académie Française, died December 5th, aged 92. He was a frequent guest on television programs where he sparkled as much by his erudition as his mischievousness, which gained him a certain popularity beyond the world of intellectuals. He was honored with a national funeral ceremony at Les Invalides, attended by former presidents, politicians, Academicians and fellow writers. In his eulogy at the solemn homage in the Cour d'Honneur, President Macron called him "a prince of letters" and "the best of the French spirit".
On Tuesday, December 12th, second anniversary of the signing of the Paris Accord on Climate Change, President Macron opened the One Planet Summit, co-hosted by the United Nations, the World Bank, and France to deal with the financing of green solutions for the reduction of global carbon emissions. It was also an occasion to counter President Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 Agreement and his argument that the Paris Accord was "bad for business". "We're not moving fast enough; it is time to act and win this battle," said Macron in his opening address to more than 50 world leaders and government representatives, investment fund managers and a number of wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg. Former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger also were in attendance.
The President of the World Bank announced that the Bank would stop financing coal and gas explorations in 2019. French insurance giant AXA said it would stop investing in any company involved in coal mining and will withdraw nearly $3 billon from the sector. More than 200 large-scale investors, including the HSBC and the California pension fund CalPERS agreed to put pressure on the 100 most polluting companies in the world in the oil, mining, and transport sectors. The European Commission and the Gates Foundation earmarked large sums for agricultural research to combat the effects of climate change on farming. And in defiance to Donald Trump, President Macron invited 18 foreign scientists (13 of them American) to come and work in France for the rest of Donald Trump's presidency, funded by 20 million euros in French research grants.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!