Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne stepped up to the plate on Saturday May 13 to defend France’s climate policy, as Emmanuel Macron’s call to stop producing new environmental standards in Europe created a stir. “There is no break at all in the climate ambition” of France, she assured from Saint-Paul, on the island of Reunion, where she is completing a three-day trip.
Do not discourage investors
The Head of State spoke twice on the subject on Thursday and Friday when he presented plans for the reindustrialization of France. He felt that no more environmental standards should be “added” after the application of the European Union’s Green Deal, pleading for “stability” so as not to discourage investors.
“I prefer factories that meet our European standards, which are the best, rather than those who still want to add standards” and take the risk of “having no more factories”, declared the head of state on Friday. . Emmanuel Macron had just welcomed the creation of thousands of jobs in the electric battery sector in the Dunkirk region, a region that has suffered from strong deindustrialization over the past 20 years.
Support for the European “Green Deal”
Like Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister reaffirmed her support for the European Union’s “Green Deal” with “the objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050”. “This legislation, it is ambitious, it allows us to meet our objectives, now we must work to implement it and it is already a very important task”, she added, hammering that it was not useful to “add standards to standards”.
The “Green Pact” is the European Union’s package of key texts on the climate, most of which (reform of the carbon market, end of sales of thermal engine cars, etc.) have been adopted, but some of which are still the subject of difficult negotiations.
Trouble in Brussels
Nevertheless, Emmanuel Macron’s statements have caused trouble in Brussels and among environmental activists who fear that a negative political signal will be sent. Some fear a rapprochement of France with the positions of the European People’s Party (EPP, right) which advocates “a moratorium” on certain legislative projects related to pesticides and the restoration of nature. There is no question of a “moratorium”, assured those close to Emmanuel Macron, such as MEP Pascal Canfin.
But the words of the Head of State triggered the wrath of Europe Ecology the Greens (EE-LV). “He wanted to be greener than everyone on the planetary level, but the reality is that while the entire French population is asking him to reverse his pension reform, he is attacking the environment, and not in a good way”, protested the leader of the party, Marine Tondelier on franceinfo.
Reindustrialisation, axis of political rebound
Emmanuel Macron has made the reindustrialization of France one of the main axes of the political rebound that he seeks to operate to get out of the painful pension crisis. He will still be in Versailles on Monday to participate in the “Choose France” summit, aimed at demonstrating his economic attractiveness.
The government remains vague on the duration of a possible European pause in the new environmental standards. Rather 5 years than 10 years, the Minister of Industry Roland Lescure said on France Inter on Saturday. “We are now in a logic where we will discuss with our partners, there will be a common reflection to know how we accelerate the action and how, before introducing new standards, we can take a little time to think about it,” he explained.
Green Industry Bill Tuesday, May 16
Roland Lescure will present his green industry bill to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, several measures of which have already been unveiled, such as the establishment of a tax credit to support the production of batteries, heat pumps, wind turbines or panels. solar.
“We want to reconcile economy and ecology (…) To do that, we have to give visibility to manufacturers,” he said.