EU Needs to Reform Itseld to Compete With Big Powers - Macron

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at the World Economic Forum in Davos

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French president Emmanuel Macron may well earn the distinction of being the only defender of Africa by the time the 2018 annual meetings of the world economic forum ends in Davos.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, accelerated the timetable for the phase-out by two years - his predecessor, Francois Hollande, originally set the deadline for shifting to cleaner sources of generation by 2023.

France only produces around 1 percent of its energy from coal-fired stations, but the commitment is a signal that the country is determined to lead on climate issues.

"We've also chose to make France a model in the fight against climate change", said President Macron at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Greenpeace's International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan told Euronews: "It's very good that President Macron is out there, but he needs to do more at home".

Expanding his theme, Macron regretted the lack of fiscal harmonisation in the European Union with Ireland notably attracting foreign firms through ultra-competitive corporation tax. France also plans to ban the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040.

He went on to say: "If we want to avoid fragmentation of the world, we need a stronger Europe".

As USA TODAY reported, Macron's opening remarks included a joke about his American counterpart's infamous climate change denial.

"We've got not only to win the war against terrorism but we've got to create conditions for durable peace", Macron said, adding that a multilateral political and diplomatic approach would help in the Middle East. "Obviously you didn't invite anyone sceptical about global warming this year".

In July, Trump and first lady Melania Trump were Macron's guests of honor on Bastille Day, where the President spent hours surveying a parade of troops, tanks, and aircraft that rolled down (and above) the Champs-lys-es.

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