French take to streets to call for revamped climate law
Thousands of people have demonstrated across France to demand "real climate legislation". Some 180 demonstrations took place in several cities on the eve of a meeting by parliament to discuss a legal text to tackle climate change.
Dozens of NGOs, labour unions and political parties called for Sunday's demonstrations to urge MPs to improve the text of the Citizen's Climate Convention, which was slammed as lacking ambition after the final session earlier in March.
Several delegates took part in the demonstrations, notably the leader of the far-left France Unbowed Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Delphine Batho, president of Génération Écologique, a small green party, and former delegate for President Emmanuel Macron's LREM party Cédric Villani.
Race against time
The law to be discussed by parliament aims at reducing greenhouse emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
"On climate issues, negotiation is not possible. It's a race against time," said activist Cyril Dion, who worries that France will never "reach its objectives" of reducing emissions.
Ecological transition minister Barbara Pompili defended the text, telling France Inter radio that was one of the most important laws of Macron's first term in office, which will bring "concrete changes to the lives of the French".
La #MarchePourLeClimat, c'est le preuve que la conscience écologique reste forte malgré la crise sanitaire, et je m'en réjouis. Je peux répondre à ceux qui marchent aujourd'hui : le Gouvernement est mobilisé pour préparer le pays au défi climatique. pic.twitter.com/AFaxYnXNDY— Barbara Pompili (@barbarapompili) March 28, 2021
She welcomed Sunday's demonstrations and said it was a positive that climate issues continued to be a major concern among the public.
"It is an extremely important gathering that appeals to the government," Yannic Jadot, a member of the European Parliament for the Ecologie-Les-Verts (Greens) party, told BFMTV, adding that environmental issues may be "at the heart" of the 2022 presidential elections.
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