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ENVIRONMENT

Macron pledges €15 billion to make France greener

French president Emmanuel Macron announced €15 billion would be invested over two years to make the country's economy greener. He says a new law will be drawn up before the end of summer.

Macron pledges €15 billion to make France greener
AFP

Macron announced €15 billion would be invested over two years in “the ecological conversion of our economy”.

The president stressed the need to “reconcile economy and ecology” in a nod to the sweeping gains of the Europe Ecology – Green Party (EELV) in Sunday's local elections marked by a record abstention rate of around 60 percent.

Hosting 150 members of a so-called “citizen's convention” on climate reform for a pre-scheduled meeting, Macron promised the creation of a fund to invest in cleaner transport and buildings, and to “invent the industries of tomorrow.”

Macron said he would implement measures immediately and a new law would be drawn up before the end of summer.

On Twitter, the president argued his government had a strong record on ecology, but conceded that “we need to go further, stronger.”

EELV party head Yannick Jadot said the vote proved that Macron had been “in denial” over growing public demand for ambitious measures to fight climate change.

He told Europe 1 radio the EELV would not join Macron's government, and urged the president to take on board a long list of measures proposed by the citizens' convention he had set up.

READ ALSO: 

A 28-hour work week and vegetarian menus: What France's citizen's convention recommends

Macron said he would not oppose a 2021 referendum on some of the proposals, including rewriting the constitution to include mention of the urgency of protecting the environment and fighting climate change.

But he did not support a four-percent tax on company dividends or lowering the speed limit on national roads from 130 to 110 kilometres per hour.

The “citzen's' convention's brief, as defined by the president, was to set out a series of measures to combat climate change that will make it possible to achieve a reduction of at least 40 percent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990), within a spirit of social justice.

 

There was heated speculation Monday that Macron would reshuffle his cabinet, possibly axing Philippe who enjoys more support than he does, according to opinion polls.

Macron has promised that the second part of is presidency would take note of failings during the first.

Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye expressed “disappointment” Sunday over the LREM's poor showing in the second round, which was held amid strict coronavirus anti-contagion measures.

Member comments

  1. I do hope this will also include a change in attitude in business…supporting smaller businesses that collectively are more resilient, more local, more adaptable to change than the industry giants that France seems to love. If they can make it easier for businesses to start and run then they may turn the tide against rural depopulation and the ever increasing migration into cities.

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ENVIRONMENT

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.

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