French president pokes at Trump for leaving Paris accord

NEW DELHI — French President Emmanuel Macron took a jibe at President Donald Trump on Sunday for his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

Macron did not name Trump while speaking at the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi. But while hailing the "solar mamas," a group of women trained as solar engineers, he said the women had continued their mission to promote solar energy even after "some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement."

Trump announced last June that the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris accord, which aims to slow the rise in global temperature by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

At a separate weekend event in India, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also regretted Trump's decision.

"It is shameful that the U.S. is the only country in the world that is not in the Paris Agreement," Clinton said Saturday in Mumbai, India's financial capital, while speaking at a conference organized by the India Today media group.

Heads and ministers of dozens of countries participated in Sunday's solar meeting, co-hosted by India and France.

The International Solar Alliance is a treaty-based international body for the promotion of efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It was launched by India and France on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

"Today is a big change," Macron told the meeting. "Our solar mamas, who we just listened to, didn't wait for us. They started to act and to deliver concrete results. They didn't wait and they didn't stop because some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement."

"Because they decided it was good for them, for their children, their grandchildren. They decided to act and keep acting, and that's why we are here, in order to act very concretely," Macron said.

India and France called for affordable solar technology and concessional finance for promoting solar energy.

The meeting was to discuss framing regulations and standards, credit mechanisms, crowd funding and sharing of technological breakthroughs to promote solar energy in 121 countries associated with the Alliance. The member countries are fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a unified effort for promoting solar energy and said the Alliance would help to achieve greater global energy security.

"Promoting its development and use can bring prosperity for all and can help reduce the carbon footprint on Earth," Modi told the conference. "If we want the welfare of planet Earth and of the whole humanity, I am confident that we can come out of our personal confines and like a family, bring unity in our aims and efforts (to promote solar energy)."

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