The Latest: 18 climate scientists win French grants

Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives on bicycle to meet Paris mayor Anne Hdalgo, Monday Dec. 11, 2017 in Paris. Schwarzenegger is in Paris to attend the One Planet climate summit Tuesday with more than 50 world leaders and co-hosted by the U.N. and the World Bank. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on the French president's climate change grants (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

American climate scientist Camille Parmesan is elated at the prospect of spending the next five years doing her research in France instead of the U.S.

She's one of 18 initial winners announced Monday of a special contest launched by President Emmanuel Macron in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Parmesan, of the University of Texas at Austin, described funding challenges for climate science in the U.S. and a feeling that "you are having to hide what you do."

She said Macron's appeal "gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do."

Parmesan will be working at an experimental ecology station in the Pyrenees on how human-made climate change is affecting wildlife.

Trump has expressed skepticism about global warming and said the Paris accord would hurt U.S. business.

8:00 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has awarded grants worth millions of euros to bring 18 American and other climate scientists to France, a program to counter U.S. President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord.

Macron devised the grant competition hours after Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal. The French president announced the first winners in Paris on Monday.

The French government said in a statement that more than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants.

A majority of applicants were U.S.-based researchers. The research of the winning recipients focuses on pollution, hurricanes and clouds.

Borrowing from Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan, Macron said: "France and Europe will be the place where we will decide how to make our planet great again."

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7:35 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is welcoming American and other foreign climate scientists to France as he tries to pump new energy into an international agreement to curb global warming.

Macron is announcing the winners Monday of a contest offering millions of euros in grants for climate scientists to relocate to France.

The French leader devised the grant competition hours after U.S. President Donald Trump announced in June that he would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Macron told a group of scientists and startup entrepreneurs in Paris, "We will be there to replace" U.S. financing of climate research.

He promised to put in place a global climate change monitoring system and said "If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science."

Macron is hosting more than 50 world leaders at a climate summit in Paris Tuesday.

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6:15 p.m.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is arguing that U.S. President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord doesn't matter, because companies, scientists and other governments can "pick up the slack" to reduce global emissions.

The Hollywood star and former California governor took a spin on a Parisian electric bike Monday as part of events leading up to an international climate summit Tuesday hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Schwarzenegger said "Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out of the Paris agreement," but many in the private sector, cities and state governments, engineers and universities remain committed to fighting climate change.

A prominent environmental campaigner, Schwarzenegger acknowledged that many people "don't understand what global warming or climate change really means," and urged environmental activists to focus on efforts to fight pollution instead because of its health risks.

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11:20 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron's "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants initially were aimed at American climate change researchers, but competition has been expanded to other non-French climate scientists.

Macron is unveiling the first winners Monday evening at a startup incubator in Paris called Station F, where Microsoft and smaller tech companies are announcing projects to finance activities aimed at reducing emissions.

French national research agency CNRS says the applicant list was whittled down to 90 finalists in September, the majority of them Americans or based in the U.S.

About 50 projects will be chosen overall, and funded with 60 million euros ($70 million) from the state and French research institutes.

Some French researchers have complained that Macron is showering money on foreign scientists while they are pleading for more support for domestic higher education.

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9:40 a.m.

Several U.S.-based climate scientists are about to win multi-year, all-expenses-paid grants to relocate to France.

The "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants are an effort by French President Emmanuel Macron to counter U.S. President Donald Trump on the climate change front.

Macron announced a competition for the grants hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the U.S. from the global accord reached in Paris in 2015 to reduce climate-damaging emissions.

Macron is unveiling the winners Monday evening ahead of a climate summit Tuesday aimed at giving new impetus to the Paris accord and finding new funding to help governments and businesses meet its goals.

More than 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for the "One Planet Summit," co-hosted by the U.N. and the World Bank. Trump was not invited.