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POLITICS

Macron plans referendum to include climate change fight in France’s constitution

President Emmanuel Macron has declared that he plans to call a referendum on changing France's constitution in order to include a commitment to fight against climate change and for the protection of the environment.

Macron plans referendum to include climate change fight in France's constitution
Photo: AFP

Speaking to members of a Citizen's Convention on Climate, Macron said that the referendum proposal would need to be approved by the lower house of parliament and the senate.

Changing the constitution to include the climate commitment and making destroying nature a crime – so-called “ecocide” – topped a list of proposals made by the Convention in June.

READ ALSO It's set to be punishable by 10 years in jail in France – but what is ecocide?

 

The group is composed of 150 randomly picked members of the public who were tasked by the government with proposing ways in which France could cut its emissions.

The last referendum in France was in 2005 when voters were asked to back the creation of a European constitution.

They rejected the proposal in a humiliating defeat for then-president Jacques Chirac.

Member comments

  1. These environmentalists have a track record of bad judgement. From saying diesel is better than petrol. Burning wood should be encouraged not gas (now 40% of the forests in Europe have disappeared) Windturbines are good yet the economic damage caused in making them is massive. Electric cars are the future but ignore how damaging lithium batteries are when they are made and thrown away. A modern Mercedes diesel car produces less CO2 than an electric car. The list is endless. We need proper solutions, not silly ill-thought out rubbish from the eco loons like Macron.

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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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