French President Emmanuel Macron has singled out Australia’s new Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek in front of a global audience in Portugal, declaring that Australia was back in action on climate change.
Macron, who effectively told the world that former Prime Minister Scott Morrison lied to him about the submarine contract, warmly welcomed ministers in the new Labor government.
On Thursday, speaking in Lisbon at the UN Oceans Conference, hours after attending the NATO summit in Madrid, Macron called on world leaders to adopt protections for life and ocean conservation in an international treaty.
He spoke at a side event at the conference underway in Portugal. Plibersek was specially invited to attend and sat in the front row.
“You’re back,” Macron said to Plibersek, provoking applause from those present.
“Because we need you in the Indo-Pacific strategy and climate and oceans are part of the strategy for us,” Macron said.
After the event, he walked over to her and grabbed her hand in his.
“It’s great that Australia and France are working hand in hand again,” said Plibersek The Sydney Morning Herald and The age.
“The environment is back under the new Australian government and it was very generous of President Macron to acknowledge that,” she said.