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President Macron addressing a joint meeting of Congress on April 25, 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

In one of the more emotional passages of his speech to Congress on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron testified to the critical, existential nature of climate change, calling on President Trump to face the challenge with U.S. allies.

Why it matters: Since Trump announced in June 2017 his intention to eventually withdraw from, or renegotiate, the Paris Agreement, the issue of climate change has offered Macron a way to raise his profile as an international player. Although disappointed by Trump’s position, he has also paradoxically been one of its largest political beneficiaries, assuming for France the climate leadership role that the U.S. has vacated.

Throughout his speech, Macron sought to rise above political divisions on climate change, casting the issue as a generational, rather than partisan, challenge. But he did not mince words in his rebuke of the U.S. position on the Paris Agreement, which remains unique in the global community: "Let us face it," he said, "there is no Planet B.”

Macron balanced his admonitions with the acknowledgement of differing opinions on climate action, choosing to focus on the long run and extending an olive branch that moderate Republicans, and perhaps even Trump, could seize in due time.

What's next: Despite Trump's announcement, the earliest the U.S. could officially notify the UN of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is late 2019, and withdrawal could not take place until late 2020. As long as the possibility of a U.S. reversal exists, Macron will have a tantalizing goal to which he can apply his charisma, energy and unique personal relationship with Trump.

David Livingston is deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.

Go deeper: Read more at the Atlantic Council's New Atlanticist blog.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

Jerusalem crisis: Hamas fires rockets, Israel begins military campaign

Palestinian protesters and an Israeli police officer near the Damascus Gate. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Days of tensions in Jerusalem escalated into an exchange of fire on Monday, as Hamas fired dozens of rockets toward Israel and the Israeli military responded with strikes of its own and said it was preparing for a military operation that could last several days.

Why it matters: This is the first time Hamas has fired rockets at Jerusalem since 2014, and the most serious escalation between the Israelis and Palestinians in many months. It comes during the most sensitive days on the calendar — the last days of Ramadan and the Jerusalem Day commemoration on Monday — and amid political crises in both countries.

Colonial Pipeline aims to be "substantially" back online by end of week

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FBI confirmed in a statement Monday that a professional cybercriminal group called DarkSide was responsible for a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline network, which provides roughly 45% of the fuel used on the East Coast.

The latest: Colonial said in a statement at 12:25pm ET on Monday that segments of the pipeline are being brought back online in a "stepwise fashion," with the goal of "substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios