If you are an American scientist, student, teacher, or business person working on climate change solutions, France would love for you to stay awhile.
Following President Trump’s June 2 decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement — a multi-country pact that acknowledges global warming poses serious threats to humanity and the environment — the French government has created an outlet for people from all countries who still want to fight climate change.
The website is called Make Our Planet Great Again.
Researchers, teachers, and students can apply for a four-year grant that allows them to continue their studies or instruction, fully financed. The site also provides information on how to move to France by obtaining a work visa and residency permit.
The website explains: “You will be able to stay in France at least for the duration of the grant, and longer if you are granted a permanent position. There is no restriction on your husband / wife working in France. If you have children, note that French public schools are free, and the tuition fees of universities and ‘grandes écoles’ are very low compared to the American system.”
Businesspeople and heads of NGOs can also apply to receive funding from the federal government, which issues grants to organizations it considers deserving.
Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election May 7. Since his victory, a video his campaign posted in February has been making the rounds on American social media. The Facebook video was addressed to American climate scientists who feel alienated by the Trump administration. Looking straight into the camera, speaking English, Macron tells American “researchers, entrepreneurs, [and] engineers working on climate change” that they have a home in his country.
“I do know how your new president now has decided to jeopardize your budget, your initiatives, and he is extremely skeptical about climate change,” he said. “I have no doubt about climate change.”
Macron went on to promise robust funding for climate initiatives. In Europe, as a general rule, climate change is less of a political issue, with few major political parties arguing against established science.
Macron’s opponent in the second round of the election, the far-right candidate Marinne Le Pen, was a bit of an exception to this rule. Le Pen opposed various environmental initiatives and did not acknowledge outright that humans are the primary cause of climate change.
Macron defeated Le Pen 66% to 34%.