Activists criticize ‘mini-measures’ in France’s new climate bill

Eiffel Tower in Paris on a beautiful sunny day with clear blue sky
Paris, photo: Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

French President Emmanuel Macron sent a new climate bill to parliament on Wednesday, hoping to convince voters of his green intentions before the 2022 presidential election. But activists have slammed the measures saying they are too small to make an actual change.

The climate bill includes measures that would ban renting out poorly insulated housing from 2028, ban some flights for trips that can be done by train, ban fossil fuels advertisements and ban the most polluting vehicles from 2030.

It also includes a two-year trial on offering a vegetarian option in government-run cafeterias on a voluntary basis and will try to cut by half the speed of urban growth by 2030.

Greenpeace called the new measures a skillful deception. “This government should stop leading us up the garden path with mini-measures that have no real impact,” Greenpeace France director Jean-Francois Julliard said in a statement.

The bill, which aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels, is a key move of Macron’s government to attract voters who moved to green candidates in last year’s local elections, but also follows new legal rules.

A French court ruled earlier this month the French government was at fault for not doing enough to combat climate change. Environmental campaigners called the ruling a landmark moment that could speed up pressure on other countries too.

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