French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the need for more global pacts to fight climate change and pitched for higher investments by the governments.
Despite the US decision to pull out of the Paris framework agreement on climate change, many countries have decided to stick to it, said Macron, whose four-day visit to India began on Friday.
“We want to step up that (the fight against climate change) with new agreements at the UN by 2020, which will give new rights to people…People can go against a company or a government saying you are not complying with your own commitment.”
He spoke during an interaction with students at a Town Hall Meeting on Saturday.
Responding to a question on the French government's stand on artificial intelligence (AI), Macron said it was necessary to invest heavily in the field, currently dominated by the US and China, to create an alternative.
In the US, the AI fight is led by private players like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and others, he said.
“It is totally privately-driven and privately-held, which according to me is a big mistake because it deals with privacy, in a certain way with the choice of the society. Because it will impact your day-to-day life, your intimacy and so on. And these guys will decide for you.”
He pointed out that it was fully controlled by the state in China.
“In China, it is 100 percent state-driven, government-driven. You have the private leaders but all the data is controlled and monitored by the government, which is, for me not a society I decided to live in,” Macron said.
“So, for Europe, it is necessary to create another model and research in this field is a critical element,” the French president said, adding that it would not only create a single digital market but also help build its own regulations in the arena.
On what qualities a good leader should have, Macron said a leader is one who has an inclusive approach vis-a-vis gender and religion.
“I think one of the main mistakes of a leader would be try to create a sort of domination of your side...of your people and the others because it is never sustainable and because large parts of violence in our current world is due to frustrations of the minorities, frustrations of dominated people,” he said.
During the nearly hour-long interaction, Macron was asked questions ranging from handling mud-slinging in public life to climate change and security of women.