Macron tours France's shrinking glacier

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 13, 2020 - Duration: 01:22s

Macron tours France's shrinking glacier

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Mer de Glace glacier on Thursday, a rapidly-disappearing victim of climate change.

Lauren Anthony reports.


Macron tours France's shrinking glacier

President Emmanuel Macron paid a visit to France's shrinking glacier on Thursday (February 13).

The Mer de Glace is yet another rapidly-disappearing victim of climate change.

The Alpine glacier - located above the town of Chamonix - has brought tourists since the 19th century.

But over the 20th, it has lost an average thickness of more than 164 feet and research by glaciologists on its future does not look good.

A 2019 study suggests that with just 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming 80% of the glacier would be lost by the end of the 21st century.

President Macron said the glacier was evidence of a warming planet.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "What we're seeing with the evolution of the glacier is indisputable proof of the trace of global warming and climate imbalance, and essentially of the shift of an entire ecosystem with all the consequences, which were described to us and that are visible to the naked eye." For Chamonix, the economic repercussions are also worrying.

The town's mayor says snow tourism accounts for half of the annual economy, and that in winter, between two thirds and three quarters of employees in the town work in the industry.

Macron, France's environment minister, and local officials were shown around the glacier.

And, whilst in the Alps, the president will open a new French Biodiversity Office.

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