France taunts US by editing White House video on climate deal

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Screenshot from video

France is taunting the US on the Paris Agreement — again.

This time, French officials remade a White House video by editing captions that explain why the Paris climate accord was a “bad deal” for the US.

The video, posted on Twitter by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is France’s latest challenge of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the United Nations-brokered deal, which seeks to limit global temperature rises by 2100 to 2 degrees Celsius above levels recorded before industrialization.

In the original 40-second US video, the first slide reads, “The Paris Accord is a bad deal for America.” The new French version tweaks that line to read, “Leaving the Paris Accord is a bad deal for America and the world.”

The French video goes on to refute the main arguments in the US video using new slides with text edits. For example, the US version asserts that the climate deal “undermines US competitiveness and jobs.”

The French video adds: “Major US companies from all sectors such as Exxon Mobil, Schneider Electric or Microsoft, disagree.”

Where the White House video claims the United States set up a $3 billion UN “slush fund,” the French video points out that the US financial commitment to the “green climate” fund is less, per capita, than that of many other countries, including Germany and France.

Other edits include swapping “badly negotiated” for “comprehensively negotiated.”

Macron takes on Trump

France’s new President, Emmanuel Macron, has led the international charge against the US decision to become one of just three countries — along with Syria and Nicaragua — not to abide by the Paris accord.

He repeatedly has said the Paris deal will “make the planet great again,” a play on Trump’s campaign slogan. And Macron on Thursday released a video address to the American people asserting that Trump is an outlier against American greatness, despite his own political mantra.

In their latest video, the French also point out a White House line that some US researchers say Trump twisted to support his own priorities.

The White House video states that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes the impact of the Paris accord “would be negligible.” The French video says the deal was “a step in the right direction.”

MIT agrees with France

In fact, the President misinterpreted MIT’s data, showing “a complete misunderstanding of the climate problem,” said John Reilly, the co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and one of the study’s authors.

Trump in announcing his decision Thursday to pull out of the deal said, “Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths-of-one-degree-Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.”

“The whole statement seemed to suggest a complete misunderstanding of the climate problem,” Reilly said. “I think Paris was a very good deal for the United States, contrary to what they are claiming,” Reilly told CNN.

“This one small step with Paris is a necessary step,” he added. “It is an incredibly important step. If we don’t take the step, then we aren’t prepared to take the next step.”

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