Oct 6, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

France and Germany have officially teamed up to support international climate research, according to recent news from the 19th Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris. Here’s a closer look at the joint initiative.  

A Partnership for the Planet

German Federal Minister for Education and Research Johanna Wanka and his French counterpart Frédérique Vidal teamed up to announce the collaboration in alignment with the climate objectives set forth in France’s Make Our Planet Great Again campaign. A response to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, French President Emmanuel Macron not only invited American scientists to pursue their research in France following Trump’s announcement that, but also charged the public at large with doing their part to fight climate change.  

About the Initiative

Specifically, the collaboration will comprise a four-year research fellowship program for 50 high-level researchers of all nationalities to pursue work in three main areas: climate change; energy transition; and the earth system. France and Germany will contribute EUR 30 million and EUR 15 million in support of the initiative. In addition to boosting climate change research, the partnership also aims to promote interdisciplinary research.   

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany joined Macron in voicing dissent to Trump’s dismissal of the climate change accord last summer. She declared in a statement, “This decision cannot and will not deter all of us who feel obliged to protect this earth. We will gather all our strength -- in Germany, in Europe and in the world -- to meet the great challenges of humanity, like climate change, and to successfully master these challenges.”  

This position is also shared by many European leaders, including European Council president, Donald Tusk who said at a news conference earlier this year, “The fight against climate change and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring will continue with or without the United States.”       

Read more about studying sustainability.         


Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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