A busy day for Ardern in Paris

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern achieved her main aim in Paris, a signed ‘Christchurch  Call’ agreement between 17 countries and also the major tech companies based in China. See: Tech companies, 17 Governments sign up to ‘Christchurch Call’

But in getting there Arden had a very busy day.

Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern’s big day in Paris ends with her getting what she wanted

She held six one-on-one meetings, hosted two more large ones, gave two speeches and two press conferences.

The Prime Minister spent Wednesday in a whirlwind of events as she finalised the Christchurch Calla set of non-binding commitments governments and tech companies are making to fight online extremism.

The pledge was made exactly two months after the terror attack in Christchurch, in which 51 people were murdered and the massacre livestreamed on Facebook.

Ardern sees this pledge as the second half of the immediate response to the attack, after banning the guns used in the attack within weeks.

One more step towards trying to make the country and the world safer. Obviously not all acts of terrorism will be prevented, and not all spreading of hate and violence online will be stopped, but it must be a move in the right direction – towards a more decent Internet and a more peaceful world.

It will need top be an ongoing effort. And going by the effort she put in so far, Ardern will do everything she can to achieve some level of success.

Her agenda in Paris on Wednesday:

The Prime Minister began her day with a swift bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the OECD Palace, the red carpet literally rolled out for royalty.

Right after that she hosted a tech roundtable with 30 or so representatives of the various tech companies signing on. The cavernous tapestried room, which had tables arranged in something much closer to a square than a circle, featured Ardern, several chief policy officers, and the co-founder of Wikipedia.

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was not present, but was due to meet Ardern at the next stop.

Dorsey is four years older than Ardern, but looked much younger as he slunk into the room to shake her hand, with wavy 2008-emo hair and a full beard.

After Dorsey, the Prime Minister and a bedraggled group of reporters following her finally arrived at the Élysées Palace where 250 local and world journalists had received accreditation to cover the main event.

Ardern was greeted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the door, who embraced her with a la bise – basically two quick kisses on the cheek, and asked her how she was…The two disappeared into the palace for a long lunch…

Next up was another bilateral meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Norway experienced a similar attack to New Zealand in 2011, but Solberg was not in office at that point.

Then came the proper meeting, the tech representative and world leaders all in one gilded room facing each other across a table. Ardern sat flanked by Macron and Senegal PM Mahammed Dionne. UK Prime Minister Theresa May sat beside the European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker on one end of the table – one imagines the pair were just pleased to talk about anything but Brexit, even if it was extremist terrorist content.

A karanga was delivered and Ardern then spoke at length about the need for tech companies to take responsibility for the huge power they now wield.

“I know that none of you want your platforms to perpetuate and amplify terrorism and extremist violence. But these platforms have grown at such pace, with such popularity, that we are all now dealing with consequences you may not have imagined when your company was just a start-up. Your scale and influence brings a burden of responsibility,” Ardern said.

When the closed-meeting finally ended, Ardern and Macron emerged for the kind of press conference where four questions take up 30 minutes.

A short stroll away from the palace, at a building Napoleon built for his sister, Ardern had a brief meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, followed by another press conference for the itchy New Zealand journalists, who had breakfast shows that were just coming on air.

So a very busy day for Ardern, who was making the most of her visit to Paris where a number of world leaders and tech company representatives had gathered.

And from the coverage I saw, Ardern acquitted her aims with aplomb, representing Aotearoa New Zealand very well. She keeps doing very well on the international stage.

Widespread praise makes pride in Ardern’s performances obvious, despite the efforts of a small number who show their displeasure regardless of what Ardern achieves or does.

People who rise to be very good leaders are able to please most of the people most of the time.

If her Government here in New Zealand can get up to speed and deliver on some significant policies, whoever leads National will be powerless to compete, and relatively powerless after next year’s election.

From the Beehive:

 

 

Tech companies, 17 Governments sign up to ‘Christchurch Call’

RNZ:  Tech companies and 17 govts sign up to Christchurch Call

Tech company and world leaders have signed an unprecedented Christchurch Call agreement to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

The meeting, the first of its kind, in Paris overnight saw all of the major technology companies, 17 countries and the European Commission sign up to the call initiated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron, in the wake of the Christchurch attack that killed 51 people.

The action plan asks tech companies to review the operation of their algorithms that are driving users towards or amplifying terrorist content online and find ways to intervene earlier.

Signatories to the ‘Christchurch Call’:

Australia, Canada, European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Companies: Amazon, Daily Motion, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Qwant, Twitter, YouTube.

This is a good start to dealing better with online extremism.

White House statement:

The United States stands with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms. Underscored by the horrific terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, we agree with the overarching message of the Christchurch Call for Action, and we thank Prime Minister Ardern and President Macron for organising this important effort.

The full Christchurch Call statement:

TO ELIMINATE TERRORIST & VIOLENT EXTREMIST CONTENT ONLINE

Document here.

Jacinda Ardern in Paris on the Christchurch Call

Stuff: PM tells tech companies they must take on more responsibility

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has directly asked tech companies to take on more responsibility for the way their platforms are used.

Ardern made an address at the Chirstchurch Call summit in Paris to seven world leaders and several leaders from the tech world.

The Prime Minister said she stood before the gathered leaders “with the 51 lives lost in New Zealand heavy on my mind.”

Ardern said that the attack had been specifically designed go viral online.

“The sheer scale of its reach was staggering. It’s hard to quantify the harm this caused. But the fact it caused harm is unquestionable. Thousands of New Zealanders called our nationwide mental health support line saying the video was causing them distress.”

She directly asked that the tech companies present – including Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft – to treat the problem as seriously as possible, as their huge size gave them a lot of responsibility.

“I know that none of you want your platforms to perpetuate and amplify terrorism and extremist violence. But these platforms have grown at such pace, with such popularity, that we are all now dealing with consequences you may not have imagined when your company was just a start-up. Your scale and influence brings a burden of responsibility.

“I know what we are doing isn’t simple, and that our goal – of eliminating the upload of this kind of content is ambitious – but it is also necessary.”

“We ask that you assess how your algorithms funnel people to extremist content and make transparent that work.”

“Some of this is already under way. But we need to see the progress you are making. We are asking you to report regularly in a verifiable and measurable way.”

A Christchurch Call agreement has now been signed by 17 Governments and a number of the major tech companies. The US has endorsed but not signed it.

See Tech companies, 17 Governments sign up to ‘Christchurch Call’

 

Jacinda Ardern on CNN on gun laws and extremist use of social media

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda is getting more international attention after speaking to CNN as she prepares for meetings and a summit in Paris on the use of social media by violent extremists.

CNN:  New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern ‘does not understand’ why US has failed to toughen gun laws

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she does “not understand” why the United States has not passed stronger gun laws in the aftermath of mass shooting events.

Ahead of a summit on online extremism, Ardern was responding to a question by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asking whether countries can learn from New Zealand.

The Prime Minister said guns have a “practical purpose” in New Zealand but “that does not mean you need access to military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles.”

“Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws. To be honest, I do not understand the United States”.

On Ardern’s ‘Christchurch Call’:

Ardern told CNN on Tuesday that the meeting “is not about regulation, it is about bringing companies to the table,” adding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given “Facebook’s support to this call to action.”

The focus will “very much be on violent extremism,” she said. The pledge will not limit or curtail “the freedom of expression.”

Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of the Christchurch attacks in the first 24 hours after the massacre. It also blocked 1.2 million of them at upload, meaning they would not have been seen by users.

“When it came to the way this attack was specifically designed to be broadcast and to go viral, (responding) to that needed a global solution, so that was why we immediately got in contact with international counterparts”.

RNZ also covered this, and have details on what is happening in Paris.

Ms Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron are hosting the meeting of world leaders and tech giants to look at how to stop extremism spreading online.

Heads of state from Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Jordan, Senegal, Indonesia and the European Union are attending, though US President Donald Trump is absent.

Ms Ardern said co-operation on ending extremist content online was the least that should be expected from Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook is absent from the meeting but the social media company’s vice-president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is there.

“I’ve spoken to Mark Zuckerberg directly, twice now, and actually we’ve had good ongoing engagement with Facebook. Last time I spoke to him a matter of days ago he did give Facebook support to this call to action.”

Ms Ardern said governments cannot ignore the way people are being radicalised, and had a role to play in preventing it.

The Prime Minister is holding a series of one-on-one meetings today with British Prime Minister Theresa May, the King of Jordan, Norway’s Elna Solberg and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey.

She will have an hour-long lunch with the French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace ahead of the Christchurch Call summit. Tomorrow, she will attend the Tech for Good dinner where she’ll make a speech before a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

There have been some questions about whether Ardern will achieve anything in Paris. I think that’s premature.  She has already achieved some significant attention, including the involvement of some other world leaders.

We will see what suggestions or plans come out of the Paris initiative over the next day or two, but I expect it will take time for things to change.

We won’t know for some time how effective any changes might be.

 

Attendance at Ardern and Macron’s social media summit in Paris

New Zealand prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is co-chairing a meeting with world leaders and the tech industry with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday (NZ time), to build support for Ardern’s “Christchurch Call” – a pledge to try to stop violent extremist content from spreading online.

Ardern explained her aims in an op-ed in the NY Times – see Jacinda Ardern ‘opinion’ in NY Times.

There aren’t a lot of world leaders attending in Paris – short notice would have made it difficult for some – but enough to make it a worthwhile attempt to get things rolling. Actually too many leaders may have made it more difficult to get agreement

Stuff: Who is and isn’t coming to Jacinda Ardern’s Paris summit on social media

This week’s meeting is being co-chaired by French President Macron. France is hosting the G7 Digital Summit, which sits alongside the Christchurch Call meeting.

The pledge will be launched two months to the day after the terror attack in Christchurch, which the alleged killer livestreamed on Facebook.

She will be joined by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Senegal President Macky Sall, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Ardern said talks were “ongoing” with the United States, where most of these large firms are based, but it was clear President Donald Trump would not be making the trip.

Because of a quirk of tax law however, many of the companies have vast subsidiaries based in Ireland, who are sending a leader.

Facebook itself is sending head of global affairs, and former UK deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.

Zuckerberg did travel to Paris to meet Macron on Friday, who he has an ongoing relationship with.

Ardern has engaged with both Zuckerberg and Sandberg following the attack. She told Stuff it would have been preferable for Zuckerberg to attend, but she was more interested in a concrete result than who attended.

“Would we have found it preferable to have Mark Zuckerberg there? Absolutely. However the most important point for me is a commitment from Facebook. I would absolutely trade having them sign up to this than anything around a presence at this event. It’s the action that is important to us.”

Twitter is the only tech company sending its chief executive, Jack Dorsey. Microsoft is sending President Brad Smith while Wikimedia is sending Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Google is sending Senior Vice President for Global Affairs Kent Walker.

I expect that any of the tech companies would have to approve any commitments through their management so it’s unlikely the Christchurch Call summit in Paris will provide anything like a final solution to violent extremist content online, but it is a step in the right direction.

Ardern and Macron to attempt to “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron will chair a meeting in Paris next month which will seek to “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”.


NZ and France seek to end use of social media for acts of terrorism

New Zealand and France announced today that the two nations will bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism, in the wake of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch New Zealand.

The meeting will take place in Paris on May 15, and will be co-chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting aims to see world leaders and CEOs of tech companies agree to a pledge called the ‘Christchurch Call’ to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

The meeting will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, of which France is the Chair, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit, both on 15 May. Jacinda Ardern will also meet with civil society leaders on 14 May to discuss the content of the Call.

“The March 15 terrorist attacks saw social media used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate. We are asking for a show of leadership to ensure social media cannot be used again the way it was in the March 15 terrorist attack,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“We’re calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris.

“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared.

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism. This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies.

“In the wake of the March 15 attacks New Zealanders united in common purpose to ensure such attacks never occur again. If we want to prevent violent extremist content online we need to take a global approach that involves other governments, tech companies and civil society leaders

“Social media platforms can connect people in many very positive ways, and we all want this to continue.

“But for too long, it has also been possible to use these platforms to incite extremist violence, and even to distribute images of that violence, as happened in Christchurch. This is what needs to change.”


RNZ: ‘This is about preventing violent extremism and terrorism online’

Ms Ardern told Morning Report that since the attacks, there had been a clear call for New Zealand to take on a leadership role in combating violent extremism online.

“There is a role for New Zealand to play now in ensuring we eradicate that kind of activity from social media, in particular to prevent it from ever happening again. We can’t do that alone,” she said.

“This isn’t about freedom of expression, this is about preventing violent extremism and terrorism online.

“I don’t think anyone would argue that the terrorist, on the 15th of March, had a right to livestream the murder of 50 people, and that is what this call is very specifically focussed on”.

Ms Ardern said she’s met with a number of tech CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and held meetings with executives from Microsoft, Twitter, and Google.

“When we actually distil this down, no tech company, no country, wants to see online platforms used to perpetuate violent extremism or terrorism. We all have a common starting point. It all then comes down to what it is we are each prepared to do about it.”

Technology correspondent Bill Bennett…

…said a voluntary approach was the only option for getting technology companies to sign up to a crackdown on terrorist behaviour through social media.

“They don’t see themselves as being responsible for content that’s published on their sites anyway. They see themselves as being some kind of neutral thing”.

National Leader Simon Bridges…

…questioned whether the global conversation would translate into anything meaningful.

He was cynical about why Ms Ardern was focusing on the issue.

“I think New Zealanders will say, hey, if you’re not also progressing policy, plans and actions around our housing, health, and education, why is this the big thing?

“Is it just a distraction tactic?”.

New Zealand needed to be cautious about going down a path that would see the casual erosion of freedoms, Mr Bridges said.

NZ Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to lead global attempt to shutdown social media terrorism

Speaking to Newstalk ZB this morning, Ardern said she was confident all major social media companies would sign up to the Christchurch call.

“We have been working on something behind the scenes for some time now, since the 15th of March. I have also recently had calls with a handful of chief executives.”

The call, she said, would place the onus on Governments, in terms of their ability to regulate, as well as on the social media companies themselves.

“I think that’s where we need to move; this can’t just be about individual country’s [ability to] regulate because this is obviously global technology and we need to have those companies accept responsibility as well.”

She said that the principals of a free, open and secure internet would “absolutely be maintained”.

“If we want to prevent violent extremist content online we need to take a global approach that involves other governments, tech companies and civil society leaders”.

“Social media platforms can connect people in many very positive ways, and we all want this to continue.”

But she said for too long it has been possible to use social media platforms to incite extremist violence, and even to distribute images of that violence, as happened in Christchurch.

“This is what needs to change.”

A worthy aim, but it will be difficult to come up with an effective means of preventing the use of social media by terrorists but maintaining the freedom of use of social media generally.

And even if social media companies do put effective control mechanisms in place, it is likely that those seeking to promote and perpetuate violence online will find ways around the controls.

Fine for Ardern and Macron to be seen to be trying to do something about it, but being seen to be trying, and doing anything effective ongoing, will be a big challenge.

Notre-Dame Cathedral on fire

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire. There has been major damage, and the spire has collapsed.

The cathedral was being renovated.

Reuters: Paris’ historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

A major fire broke out at the medieval Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday afternoon, leading firefighters to clear the area around one of the city’s most visited landmarks.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the fire. France 2 television reported that police were treating the incident as an accident.

A major operation was under way, the fire department said, while a city hall spokesman said on Twitter that the area was being cleared.

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations, with some sections under scaffolding, while bronze statues were removed last week for works.

Wikipedia:  Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris (meaning “Our Lady of Paris”)  is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.

The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.

The cathedral was begun in 1160 and largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed.

A major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845 and continued for twenty-five years. Beginning in 1963, the facade of the Cathedral was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime, returning it to its original color.

Another campaign of cleaning and restoration was carried out from 1991-2000.

And as reported Notre-Dame was undergoing further restoration, which is thought to be related to a possible cause of the fire.

Two international terrorist attacks

There have been two terrorist attacks reported over the weekend, one in Paris and the other in Indonesia.

It is very difficult to defend against small and single person attacks.

BBC – Paris knife attack: Suspect ‘French citizen born in Russia’s Chechnya’

The suspect in a deadly knife attack in central Paris on Saturday evening is a French citizen born in 1997 in Russia’s republic of Chechnya, sources say.

Named by media as Khamzat Asimov, he was on a French watch list of people who could pose a threat to national security, the sources said.

Police shot dead the attacker in the busy Opéra district after he killed a man and injured four other people.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attack.

France has been on high alert following a series of attacks. More than 230 people have been killed by IS-inspired jihadists in the past three years.

Islamic terrorism has been a major problem in France.

Indonesia is predominately Muslim and has it’s own problems with terrorism – Surabaya church attacks: One family responsible, police say

A family of six, including a nine-year-old girl, were behind a wave of blasts targeting three churches in Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya, police say.

At least 13 people died in Sunday’s bombings, which the Islamic State group has claimed.

The mother and two daughters blew themselves up at one church, while the father and two sons targeted two others.

The family had recently spent time in Syria, according to the police.

The bombings are the deadliest

Police chief Tito Karnavian said the family belonged to an Indonesian IS-inspired network, Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

There has been a rise in radical Muslim activity, in part due to the influence of ISIS.

In recent years women have become increasingly active in terrorist cells in Indonesia but this would be the first time children have been used.

Indonesia had been widely praised for its sustained anti-terrorism crackdown following the 2002 Bali bombings. It has managed a seemingly successful combination of arrests and killings, alongside a de-radicalisation program that focused on changing minds and providing alternative incomes for released terrorists.

But the rise of IS overseas has invigorated the loosely constituted jihadi networks.

There has also been rising intolerance in recent years in this once tolerant, pluralist, majority-Muslim nation, which has made minority groups increasingly uncomfortable.

Terrorism is a significant problem. Terrorist attacks get a lot of media attention these day, but are responsible for a relatively small number of deaths:

Global Death Toll of Different Causes of Death - Oxfam0

https://ourworldindata.org/terrorism

There is no easy way of preventing terrorism, nor of reducing radical religious movements.

French outrage over Trump comments on Paris attack

President Trump has offended the French after making some typically bizarre comments in a speech to the National Rifle Association  in Dallas, Texas.

Trump is well known for making stupid and insensitive comments. This just adds to the list.

RNZ: French outrage after US President Trump mimics Paris attackers

What did Trump say exactly?

“Paris, France, has the toughest gun laws in the world…” he told the NRA.

“Nobody has guns in Paris, nobody, and we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded. Did you notice that nobody ever talks about them?

“They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one. Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here. Boom!

“But if one employee or just one patron had a gun, or if just one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot.”

The French foreign ministry…

…called for the victims’ memory to be respected.

“France expresses its firm disapproval of the comments by President Trump about the attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris and asks for the memory of the victims to be respected,” the foreign ministry said.

François Hollande, who was French president at the time of the attacks…

…said Mr Trump’s remarks were “shameful”. They “said a lot about what he thinks of France and its values”, he added.

Manuel Valls, who was France’s prime minister in 2015…

…tweeted: “Indecent and incompetent. What more can I say?”

That may sum up Trump very well.

He also prompted responses from London after saying:

“I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle, is like a warzone for horrible stabbing wounds,” he said. “Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns, they have knives, and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military warzone hospital.”

Trump stabbed the air several times with an imaginary knife and muttered: “Knives, knives, knives.

Guardian: Trump’s knife crime comments are ridiculous, says London surgeon

The suggestion by Donald Trump that guns are part of the solution to knife crime in London is ridiculous, a trauma surgeon in the capital has said. The US president told the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas on Friday that a “once very prestigious hospital” in London was like a “warzone”.

He appeared to be referring to reported comments by Martin Griffiths, a lead trauma surgeon at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, who likened the spate of stabbing victims coming through the doors to scenes in a military hospital.

Prof Karim Brohi, another surgeon at the hospital and the director of London’s major trauma system, said knife violence was a serious issue for London. “We are proud of the excellent trauma care we provide and of our violence reduction programmes,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “The Royal London hospital has cut the number of our young patients returning after further knife attacks from 45% to 1%.

“London hasn’t been used to that. They’re getting used to it. Pretty tough. We’re here today because we recognise a simple fact. The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our second amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights. We’re fighting.”

Charlie Falconer, a former justice secretary, said:

“Trump makes Londoners dislike him more, and the US dislike London more. Mutual dislike is not good as the UK leaves the EU. Trump gives the impression he couldn’t give a fig.”

Trump’s reception when he visits England in July was always expected to be far less receptive to him than the NRA or the staged ego stroking rallies he has in the US.

Q+A: Trump and climate change

On NZ Q+A this morning:

Dr Adrian Macey, New Zealand’s first climate change ambassador, is interviewed live by Jessica Mutch – what does President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement really mean for NZ and climate change?

Macey was disappointed about Trump’s withdrawal but it wasn’t unexpected.

But he says that it now seems apparent that the US withdrawal isn’t going to derail the climate change measures from the rest of the world, and cities and businesses in the US have also pledged to continue addressing the issues as before despite the presidential plug pulling.

He points out that Trump is now not calling climate change a hoax, he isn’t contesting that something needs to be done, he has justified withdrawing simply on the basis of jobs.

But he points out that new and renewable energy jobs far exceed coal jobs:

The big change under Trump seems to be a withdrawal of US as a world leader.

It reminds me of a joke about the difference between the US and UK – in the UK they invite other countries to world championships. The US under Trump is at risk of becoming more self obsessed and less of the premier world power.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/q-and-a/clips/extras/paris-agreement-us-no-nz-yes