France to build polar research vessel as Macron sounds warning on melting glaciers

© Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP

President Emmanuel Macron said Friday France will build an ice-capable vessel as part of a billion-euro plan to boost polar research.

Addressing a conference on the polar regions and glaciers, he urged world powers to act in the face of the climate emergency despite raging geopolitical tensions.

He said mankind faced a "civilisational" challenge and called for "an unprecedented level of cooperation" despite the "resurgence of geopolitical tensions".

He spoke on the final day of the One Planet-Polar summit, a conference he called to address the climate emergency. Russia, a major Arctic nation, was not invited over its invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine "has weakened cooperation with major geopolitical and scientific powers", Macron said, in a clear reference to Russia.

"Despite all these tensions, it's clear that we must act, and make the poles and glaciers privileged spaces for peace, scientific and environmental cooperation", Macron added.

Based between the French territory of New Caledonia and Australia, the new ship will divide its time between the Western Pacific and Antarctica, he said.

France plans to invest a billion euros ($1.1 billion) in polar research by 2030, Macron said.


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