After the Greens’ triumph in the French local elections, President Macron announced concessions on climate policy. He wants to discuss more than 140 ideas from a climate council – including a referendum.
President Emmanuel Macron wants the French population to vote on certain climate protection issues from next year. Among other things, it is about a constitutional change so that the terms biodiversity, environment and the fight against climate change are included in the text. The last time there was a referendum 15 years ago – the planned EU constitution had failed in France at that time.
Macron also announced “an additional 15 billion euros” for the ecological restructuring of the economy after the Corona crisis. “Some say: We received a slap in the face,” he said in his one-hour speech to 150 members of a citizens’ convention on the climate in the garden of the Elysée Palace.
His admission was understood as an allusion to the loud criticism of his reform course and his corona crisis management. Macron admitted “mistakes” that “first of all I have to answer for”. However, he did not comment on the generally expected reshuffle.
“Green wave” through France
It was only on Sunday that there was a “green wave” at the finals of the local elections in France. Greens and their allies conquered the town halls of large cities such as Strasbourg, Lyon or Bordeaux.
At European level, he wants to campaign for a carbon tax in the next few months, says Macron. He also announced that an additional 15 billion euros will be invested in ecological change over the next two years. “You have the right to raise the alarm,” he said to the citizens. Now the time had come to act.
Only three ideas fail the president
The Civic Convention had made proposals to combat climate change. The almost 150 recommendations include a ban on genetically modified seeds and the inclusion of “ecocide” as a crime in French criminal law. Macron’s initiative was set up last year to oversee French climate change legislation.
Macron was open to most of the suggestions. He does not want to include only three of the more than 140 ideas in his politics. All others should be discussed in the government, in parliament or by means of a referendum. Among other things, the president does not want to consider the proposal to set the speed limit on the highway at 110 instead of 130 kilometers per hour. Macron also rejected the idea of the climate council to levy a dividend tax of four percent in order to finance a new environmental policy with the revenues. This would deter investors, the president argued.