The seven women and 11 men from across six countries are Macron’s chosen “winners” from the 1,822 scientists who responded to his call for help in working against climate change, after US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement climate change deal.
“If we want to understand what is happening [with the environment], we need science. We need students, we need researchers,” Macron said yesterday, in a statement, reported by news source France Info.
“The fundamental research; the applied research, will allow us to win this battle against global warming.”
The 18 researchers - most of whom are actually from the USA, with others from Canada, Italy, Spain, India and Poland - will now receive funding to work with France on different themes, all with the common topic of studying climate change.
Their selection was unveiled by Macron himself at the “Tech for Planet” conference in Paris this week. The One Planet Summit is also taking place today, with Macron himself speaking with "philanthropists to take strong commitments and launch new actions," according to his own Twitter account.
According to the Elysée, “the seven women and 11 men have been selected on the basis of their project [submitted for selection], which tallies with research already going on in France; and also for their personalities”.
The campaign has been dubbed the “Make Our Planet Great Again”, with the social media hashtag #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain - which appears as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Donald Trump’s controversial election campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”.
Projects among the researchers include studying the impact of climate change across the world, including, for example, how it is impacting the rainy seasons in West Africa.
The second stage of the campaign will begin in Spring 2018, working alongside similar projects in Germany.
Macron has previously said he will “refuse fatalism”, and has called on “entrepreneurs, students, and universities”, to “do everything possible so that France will be the leader” on the subject of climate change, because “it is our vocation, and we have decided to do it”.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France