Macron says it was “aggressive” for U.S. to leave Paris climate accord

PARIS — “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor had an extended conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron Monday on a number of issues including terrorism, the future of Jerusalem, and more. Glor began with the One Planet Summit, which was organized by Macron to focus on climate change following President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris accord, which set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The summit is taking place in Paris on Tuesday.

What follows is a transcript of the portion of the interview that aired Monday night on the “CBS Evening News.”


JEFF GLOR: How much has the withdrawal affected your efforts?

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON: I think the withdrawal — to be totally fair with you — created a huge momentum to me to create a counter-momentum.

GLOR: You say you’re in better shape now because of this withdrawal. That the president did you a favor?

MACRON: I think today we have a momentum, because I think we have two phenomenon. So withdraw of the U.S., which for me is a mistake, that equates an impulse for a lot of others to say, “Okay, we have to react and do something, because it’s impossible to leave this all to — a sort of dismantling of the Paris Agreement.”

Second, a deep wakeup call for the private sectors and some of us to say, “Wow, so we have to react.” If we decide not to move and not change our way to produce, to invest, to behave, we will be responsible for billions of victims. I don’t want to be a leader in such a situation, so let’s act right now.

GLOR: [Mr. Trump] says he’s open to renegotiation.

MACRON: You know, you have more than 190 countries as negotiators. I’m not ready to renegotiate with so many people, I’m sorry, around the table. The U.S. did sign the Paris Agreement. It’s extremely aggressive to decide on its own just to leave, and no way to push the others to renegotiate because one decided to leave the floor. I’m sorry to say that. It doesn’t fly.

GLOR: You think he’ll change his mind.

MACRON: Yes, I mean my– I’m not ready to renegotiate, but I’m ready to welcome him if he decides to come back.

GLOR: How often do you speak with President Trump?

MACRON: Look, as often as we need. For instance, during the past weeks, we had probably three to four phone calls together. It’s very easy as soon as he asks for a call. I call him back and exactly the same on his side. We have very fluent and open discussions.

GLOR: And you would characterize that relationship as friendly?

MACRON: Yes, very direct.

GLOR: You talked about Jerusalem?

MACRON: Yes, exactly.

GLOR: Before.

MACRON: Yes.

GLOR: And he said what?

MACRON: He said that probably he will announce the fact that he wanted to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

GLOR: And you told him what?

MACRON: I told him, I thought it was a mistake, and that such a unilateral decision is not compliant with our international discussions and our international rules and will not facilitate a peace process.

GLOR: Was that a calm conversation? Was that a confrontational conversation?

MACRON: I think it’s always an open and direct discussion. You can agree to disagree. Which is the case between us on some issues. I mean, he told me the rationale of his decision. I told him that for me, it’s not the right announcement, but at the end of the day, you decide for your own. And he decided for the U.S. I decided for France, which is normal.

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French President Emmanuel Macron

CBS News

GLOR: In your estimation, does it jeopardize the peace process?

MACRON: My first concern is to preserve peace and calm in the whole region. Second, I think we have to discuss with all the parties and try to find a way out. But obviously, the reaction of the Palestinians will not be very positive. They are not in a good mood to progress towards any peace process.

GLOR: The smaller scale attacks like the one that happened in New York City today, that happened in France as well, how do you prevent those?

MACRON: You prevent them by increasing your intelligence. You can prevent them if you are — if we are much more — aggressive, I would say, in order to reduce the propaganda of the jihadists and the terrorists on the net. On top of that, if you want to prevent this kind of behavior, you have as well to better take care of your people, and help them to find a place in your society.

GLOR: Mr. President, thank you.

MACRON: Thank you.

There will be much more of Glor’s interview with Macron on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, as well as on our streaming news service, CBSN, and at CBSNews.com.

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