DONALD TRUMP has claimed Emmanuel Macron’s climbdown over fuel tax rises shows his own decision to withdraw from the international climate deal agreed in Paris in 2015 was justified.
The US president claimed his French counterpart, who delayed the increases after protests and riots, had been forced to recognised that the accord put too high a burden on western nations.
He tweeted: ‘I am glad that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the protesters in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago.
‘The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters.’
Mr Trump believes abiding by the agreement would have made it harder for the US to compete with nations such as China, which he argues are given more leeway to pollute under the deal.
Mr Macron supports the pact and rebuked the US leader for pulling out.
His tax rises were part of a strategy to wean France off fossil fuels but he has postponed them for six months after uproar across the country.
Protests against the policy have turned into the biggest uprising since the 1968 riots, with three people killed in clashes with police and hundreds more injured.
Despite the concessions, the unrest shows no sign of calming down, with the lorry drivers’ union calling for a rolling strike and the largest farmers’ union threatening action next week. High school students, angry over education reforms, torched a barricade to block a tramline in Bordeaux yesterday.
And their union FIDL has called for a ‘massive general mobilisation’ today.
‘Gilets jaunes’ demonstrators — who wear the high-vis jackets drivers have to carry — called for the dissolution of the national assembly during demonstrations at motorway tollbooths yesterday.
Dany Cohn-Bendit, who was labelled Dany Le Rouge when he led the 1968 uprising, urged the protesters to respect others. ‘If I go out on the street and they say you can only pass with a yellow gilet, I say no, I’m a free person,’ he said.
■ CHINA has agreed to a ceasefire in its trade war with the US but has given no details that might dispel confusion about what presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to at the G20 meeting in Argentina. Beijing said: ‘China will start implementing specific issues on which consensus has been reached, and the sooner, the better.’ But it did not confirm Mr Trump’s claim that Mr Xi promised to cut car tariffs and immediately buy more American farm goods.