Macron Makes Plea to Green Voters After French Election Setback
(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron made a plea to environmentally focused voters on Monday after municipal elections over the weekend saw Green candidates successfully lure supporters away from his own party.
Macron pledged that his government would invest an extra 15 billion euros ($16.9 billion) over the next two years to help the economy’s environmental transition, and to include a green transformation fund in France’s recovery plan, which could come into force in September.
“Our track record is indisputable but history is going faster than us,” Macron said in a speech in Paris. “Climate change requires that we do much more.”
The political future of Macron -- already under attack over the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and his reform plans -- depends on winning over environmental voters. His speech comes after his Republic on the Move party suffered a defeat in Paris while the Greens picked up city halls in Lyon and Bordeaux.
The president also went over possible measures to curb climate change Monday that were crafted by an assembly of citizens, called by Macron last year, to make proposals to cut emissions. The assembly presented about 150 proposals earlier this month.
Macron said he supports the assembly’s proposal on a moratorium on the construction of new commercial zones around cities. He also mentioned help would be needed to make homes more energy-efficient, which could eventually translate into subsidies for renovating works or public orders.
He said he would consider the possibility of holding a referendum next year on some of the proposals. A specific bill will be introduced by the end of the summer.
Macron also said that he wouldn’t rule out abandoning the free-trade agreement between Canada and the EU if it doesn’t respect the Paris climate accord.
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