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USA brain drain, as climate scientists take up the invitation from France

France’s Climate Science Grants Want To Make The Planet Great Again–And Thousands Have Applied
France’s response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was to offer safe harbor for scientists and entrepreneurs who might lose funding in the U.S. For worried Americans, it might be a good deal. Fast Company,
BY ADELE PETERS ,  In the past, a young American climate researcher with a PhD might have applied to work at NASA or NOAA. Now, some are considering moving to Europe instead.

Since French president Emmanuel Macron announced the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative on June 1–inviting climate researchers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to come to France, hours after Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement–roughly 11,000 people have applied. The program offers $69 million in support to selected applicants; Germany recently announced that it will join France and offer another $17 million….

The grants are flexible, with no set limits on the amount of time someone can work in France or preference for particular research areas or businesses, as long as they address climate change and are judged to have strong potential…….

“In the U.S., the current administration seems poised to do real damage to U.S. climate science, both in terms of critical observations and the science that goes with it,” says Dennis Hartmann, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. “The effects would be long lasting, as young scientists, especially, would be forced out of the field, and critical observational information would be lost, and some long-term time series broken……

After France made its offer, others have followed: Germany plans to launch its own website as a partner to the initiative. The U.K. also launched a new fund–though not specifically focused on climate–designed to attract international researchers. Canada is similarly investing in a new program to attract international researchers.

France’s program, like the others, is open worldwide, but Americans make up many of the applicants, likely both because of the strength of American academia and business and the current political climate…..

France is hoping that the program can be part of helping the world meet–and even go beyond–the objectives of the Paris agreement to limit global warming. “If collectively, all over the world, we achieve to respect that agreement, it would be a great thing,” says the Elysée source. “Secondly, we want to improve research and an understanding of our world and climate phenomena. A third aspect is that we expect it to deliver hope . . . we do believe that cleantech can offer new jobs, new industries of the future.”


August 18, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, France

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