June 7, 2017 / 11:54 AM / 2 months ago

France vows to go beyond Paris climate commitments

2 Min Read

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron as they attend the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017.Stephane De Sakutin/Pool File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France will go beyond its initial international commitments to combat climate change following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of last year's Paris accord, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

France's new President Emmanuel Macron is leading the charge to keep the momentum on the landmark accord that was reached in the French capital in 2015, after a pullout decision by Trump that drew condemnation from world leaders.

"The aim of the president and Nicolas Hulot (Ecology Minister) is to go beyond the targets we set ourselves within the framework of the Paris agreement," government spokesman Christophe Castaner told reporters after a government meeting.

Castaner said a detailed list of policy actions would be issued in the next 15 days. He said they would lay out climate changes for the next five years and also seek to show where France will exceed its previous commitments.

The government will also launch a website dedicated to attract climate change researchers from the United States and other countries as well as businesses involved in climate-linked innovation to France, Castaner said.

Macron and Hulot met non-governmental organisations, businesses and researchers on Tuesday to hear proposals that could help France exceed its earlier climate commitments.

"There is momentum and France wants to seize it. President Trump's decision gives us the opportunity to accelerate these decisions and policies," a source at Macron's office said on Tuesday.

Details of the policy actions have not been circulated in public but the source said initiatives on a carbon floor price, climate finance and increased development of renewable energy sources to curb French dependence on nuclear power could be among the proposals.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Brian Love and Gareth Jones

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