French president Emmanuel Macron may well earn the distinction of being the only defender of Africa by the time the 2018 annual meetings of the world economic forum ends in Davos. Since Donald Trump chose to withdraw the USA from the Paris accord, the French President has been trying to take the lead on climate change with his "Make our planet great again' moto".
The deadline is two years ahead of his predecessor Francois Hollande's goal of shutting down France's coal-powered plants by 2023.
France only produces around 1 percent of its energy from coal-fired stations, but the commitment is a signal that the country is determined to lead on climate issues.
In terms of trade, Macron said: "We are moving towards greater protectionism". "Talent will come where it is good to live".
Macron said in November glyphosate would be banned in France within three years, rejecting a European Union decision to extend its use for five years after a heated debate over whether the Monsanto-developed weed-killer causes cancer. "We can create a lot of jobs with such a strategy".
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" Merkel was late in confirming that she would attend Davos, tearing herself away from efforts to form a new government after an election setback in September".
He kicked off his address with a joke related to climate change at the expense of President Trump, who arrives in this Alpine resort Thursday morning. The president said: "We'll have to see at the European level whether we want new sanctions, I am in favour of having them".
"This is about an America First agenda but America First does mean working with the rest of the world", he said, before Merkel and Macron's appearances. "Obviously you don't invite anyone skeptical about global warming this year".
People gather during the demonstration "Trump not welcome!" against the upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.