President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement on June 1, 2017, and exactly a year later, also directed his administration to take steps that would prevent the closure of coal and nuclear power plants in the country. Meanwhile, the production of U.S. shale is at record highs (the price of gasoline in the domestic market is also at its highest in several years) and crude oil production heavyweights, like Russia and the Saudi Arabia-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are also mulling increasing their output. Despite the virtual stranglehold on global production of crude oil by OPEC and Russia, and the pursuit of environmentally-unfriendly policies by the Trump administration, a new study found there is an economic "carbon bubble" forming, one that could lead to the sudden loss of up to $4 trillion in the global economy by 2035, mostly accounted for by "stranded" fossil fuel stockpiles. Economists and policy experts from Cambridge and the Open universities in the United Kingdom, Radboud University in the Netherlands, Macau University, and Cambridge Econometrics ran detailed simulations that showed technological changes in the energy and transport industries would lead to a significant decline in the global demand for fossil fuels in the coming years. This change in the near future would occur even if major nations did not adopt climate-friendly energy policies, leading to a slump in fossil fuel prices and stocks of associated companies.
France and the United States have a long history that goes back centuries. From the American revolutionary war to the Statue of Liberty - the two countries have had strong cultural and political ties. French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to build on that special bond during his three-day state visit to Washington, DC. And US President Donald Trump has rolled out the red-carpet. But beyond the handshakes, smiles and lavish ceremonies, there are serious policy disagreements, including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which could threaten to put a strain on the special relationship.
Emmanuel Macron has used his speech to a joint session of Congress to urge the United States to reject nationalism and preserve the Iran nuclear deal. The French president received a three-minute standing ovation as he arrived in the chamber in Washington, DC on Wednesday, yet his speech was critical of President Donald Trump's America First agenda. He expressed doubt that Trump would stay in the nuclear deal and warned the West not to "repeat past mistakes" in the Middle East. Saving the Iran deal has been high on the agenda of Macron's visit, and he has presented Trump with a supplementary pact that would further limit Iran's development of ballistic missiles and curb its military role in the region. France, the US as well as Russia, Germany, China, the UK and the European Union are signatories to the agreement with Iran.