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'We're not moving fast enough,' France's Macron tells Paris climate summit

Eric Feferberg, AFP | World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) listen as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at the One Planet Summit on December 12, 2017, in Boulogne-Billancourt, west of Paris.

More than 50 world leaders assembled in Paris for a summit that President Emmanuel Macron hopes will give new momentum to the fight against global warming, despite US President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord.

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Macron issued a stark warning on climate change in an address to dozens of world leaders and other luminaries at the gathering on Tuesday, saying: “We are losing the battle” against global warming.

“We’re not moving fast enough, that’s the problem,” the French leader told the One Planet Summit.

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Some 3,100 security personnel fanned out across Paris for the meeting, including extra patrol boats along the river Seine. Macronaccompanied the visiting leaders to the summit site on a river island by boat.

Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk were among prominent figures joining the world leaders at the summit, which marks the second anniversary of the Paris accord.

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Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax", announced in June that the United States would pull out of the Paris pact, which had taken nearly 200 nations more than two decades to negotiate.

The Trump administration said it was not going fulfil US climate finance commitments, including an outstanding $2 billion out of $3 billion (€1.7 billion out of €2.5 billion) it had pledged towards the Green Climate Fund.

"The missing piece of the jigsaw is the funding to help the world's poorer countries access clean energy so they don't follow the fossil fuel-powered path of the rich world ... This is the missing piece that the One Planet Summit needs to begin to put into place," said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which represents poor country interests at the UN climate forum.

The US sent only an official delegation from the Paris Embassy to the summit, but screen superstars Leonardo Di Caprio and Schwarzenegger and California Governor Jerry Brown, leader of the world’s sixth largest economy, are championing more action.

In a pointed piece of timing, Macron used the eve of the summit to award 18 grants to foreign climate scientists, most of whom are currently US-based, to come and work in France.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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