Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Man of Principle

French environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced his resignation on live radio Tuesday, declaring, "I don't want to lie to myself anymore. I don't want to give the illusion that my presence in government means that we meet the standards on these issues, so I'm taking the decision to leave the government," said Hulot, "We strive to maintain an economic model that is responsible for all these climatic disorders." He continued, "Have we starting to reduce the use of pesticides? The answer is no. Have we started to stop the erosion of biodiversity, the answer is no. We're taking little steps, and France is doing a lot more than other countries, but are little steps enough? ...The answer is no."

Hulot announced his departure after the government said it would relax hunting laws, a measure aimed at boosting Macron's appeal in rural areas, but seen by environmentalists as caving in to the powerful hunting lobby. Under the changes, hunting licences would be cheaper and more species could be shot, sparking outrage among campaigners for the protection of birds. Hulot said lobbies had too much power over the French government.

He was disappointed when the government backtracked on a target to reduce reliance on nuclear power to 50 percent of the country's energy mix by 2025.

He had also sought a legal ban on the controversial weedkiller glyphosate but was overruled by the agriculture ministry, which preferred negotiating directly with farmers and industry.

 Juliette Legendre wrote in  Foreign Policy In Focus in June, that Macron's first year in office "has proven that he old-fashioned, right-leaning neoliberal determined to overhaul France's hard-won social model under the guise of modernism and emancipation."

Macron had "made some fine speeches" and stood up to Trump on climate issues, Greenpeace France director Jean-Francois Julliard told Reuters, but he has "never turned these words to concrete action" at home. "There is still no energy transition policy in France," she said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks as if M, Hulot is going to take a holiday.