Data News Staff Edited Report
Last week French President Emmanuel Macron visited Louisiana, the American state most closely aligned historically with his country, to celebrate their longstanding cultural ties and also discuss energy policy and climate change.
Macron met with political leaders and strolled with first lady Brigitte Macron through New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, the heart of the city, stopping to talk and shake hands with bystanders. He paused next to a street brass band and nodded and clapped as they played “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Macron’s itinerary started at Jackson Square. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell walked him to the Historic New Orleans Collection where Macron discussed climate change impacts with Gov. John Bel Edwards. The French President also met with energy company representatives.
In addition, Macron met for a dinner at the Winsor Court with culture bearers, musicians, and a host of others regarding cultural exchange between France and New Orleans.
Macron told Edwards he was overcome by the reception in the city.
“What I think this signifies is a special relationship we have with France. It is historical and cultural,” Edwards said.
During a brief meeting, the governor and Macron signed a memorandum of understanding “to further expand and enhance the strong cultural connections between France and Louisiana in the areas of the economy, clean energy and the environment,” Edwards’ office said.
“Like me, President Macron believes that climate change is real,” Edwards said.
Louisiana is named for Louis XIV, the famous Sun King who ruled France for 72 years starting in 1643. New Orleans is where the Louisiana Purchase was finalized. The deal transferred the Louisiana Territory, which encompassed much of what is today the central United States, from France to the U.S. in 1803.
Macron’s New Orleans visit also included a stop at the Cabildo, where ceremonies marking the land transfer were held.