By Victor Garcia
Published March 18, 2019
A former Environmental Protection Agency advisor has told French President Emmanuel Macron to "shred" the Paris agreement and turn to President Trump to embolden their economy in the wake of fresh riots over the country's environmental policy.
“My message to the French leadership is they should shred the Paris agreement and they should work with President Trump to figure out how to grow the economy in historic ways while advancing successful environmental progress,” Mandy Gunasekara, former deputy assistant administrator at the EPA, said on “America’s Newsroom” Monday.
France’s prime minister promised to announce new measures to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s violence, in which rioters set fires, ransacked luxury stores and attacked police around the Champs-Elysees.
The yellow vest movement demanding economic justice had been dwindling before taking off again last weekend.
Protesters had tried to raise their profile Saturday to mark the end of a national debate Macron had organized to respond to protesters’ concerns about sinking living standards, stagnant wages, and high unemployment.
Many demonstrators, especially from the political extremes, feel the debate didn’t address their real demands.
President Trump commented on the protests and the United States’ environmental success on Twitter over the weekend.,
“How is the Paris Environmental Accord working out for France? After 18 weeks of rioting by the Yellow Vest Protesters, I guess not so well! In the meantime, the United States has gone to the top of all lists on the Environment,” Trump tweeted.
Gunasekara, who worked closely with President Trump when the U.S. left the Paris Climate Accord stressed that “those types of agreements don’t really work.”
“This is what could have happened here if we stayed in the Paris agreement and the problem is that their political leaders… they are undermining their economic interest in the name of environmental progress,” Gunasekara said. “The problem is they aren't even achieving environmental progress.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.