Emmanuel Macron slammed for 'following bad science' by expert
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The politicians have all left Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en Marche (LREM) over the President’s lack of commitment to environmental and social issues. The French leader has failed to stick to his famous “make our planet great again” slogan from 2017, sparking the fury of those both in opposition and in his own party.
Jennifer De Temmerman, an MP and former LREM member, said the President’s commitment was “skin deep”.
She told Politico: “It’s all communication, smoke and mirrors. He lectures others, but in reality, his actions in France don’t pass muster.”
Thousands of protesters took to the street of Paris on Sunday to demonstrate against the President’s climate bill, which environmental campaigners say falls too short of Mr Macron’s promises to change the world.
Ms De Temmerman said: “We were expecting a grand bill, a landmark piece of legislation, and it falls very short of our expectations.
“On transport, we’re only banning flights that are shorter than two-and-a-half hours, that’s almost nothing. And on advertising, we’re encouraging greenwashing by allowing fossil fuel companies to promote their green products.”
France’s High Council on Climate, a body set up by The French President himself to advise on climate policy, said the measures will not “fill the gaps in France’s transition to low carbon.
They added the bill will only deliver “between a half and two-thirds of the cuts needed between 2019 and its [40 percent] target for 2030”.
Those who once supported the French President’s green ambitions, now recognise the “contradictions” in his policies.
By the end of last year, 15 MPs had quit his party in protest.
Philippe Zaouati, an early Macron supporter and former party manager said: “There was a real awakening in Emmanuel Macron [on green issues]/”
He pointed to Mr Macron’s early decisions to shelve big, unpopular projects such as the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project in western France or EuropaCity, a sprawling development outside Paris.
He added: “But on whether ecology is compatible with his deep conviction that France needs to be modernised, that’s where the contradictions lie.
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“He hasn’t yet understood that the [green transition] can actually help us.”
The President is counting on shifting the burden of climate change policies on cooperation at a European level.
But Paris will also have to use its diplomatic heft to press the EU to impose a carbon border levy to encourage foreign companies to cut their emissions and protect EU industries. The proposal is expected in June.
But Nick Mabey, CEO of E3G, who advises the COP presidency warned that so far the French President has failed to show much inclination to press climate diplomacy, despite his promises.
Whilst some may think the French leader has taken charge of his Brussels caucus since Brexit, Mr Macron has also failed to step up in replacing the UK at the negotiating table when it comes to commitments to the fight against climate change.
Mr Mabey told Politico: “The UK was the largest climate diplomacy service in the EU with over 150 climate diplomats.
“The EU External Action [Service] only has four people working on climate, and France hasn’t stepped into the gap left by the UK.”
None of that makes an easy match for Macron’s “great again” slogan, he added.
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