He was expected on the subject. In the aftermath of a second round of municipal elections marked by a strong push of the ecological vote, Emmanuel Macron received Monday in the garden of the Elysée the 150 citizens of the Citizen Convention for the climate, assembly drawn by lot to advance proposals on the planetary emergency. Here is what to remember from his answers.
Almost all the successful proposals
Emmanuel Macron announced that he was retaining 146 of the 149 ideas formulated by the Citizen's Climate Convention. "I want them to be implemented as quickly as possible," said the Elysée tenant. They must now be submitted to Parliament in a specific bill to be presented at the end of the summer.
By the end of July, measures which do not fall within the legislative field but the regulatory will be examined by an Ecological Defense Council. The 150 are also scheduled to meet with the President of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, next week. Emmanuel Macron has planned exchanges with associations of local elected officials.
The 110 km / h debate postponed
It was a point of tension on which Emmanuel Macron was eagerly awaited. The president did not follow the Convention on limiting the speed to 110 km / h on French highways to limit pollution, a key measure for 150 citizens. A debate he wants to "postpone".
"The ecological transition must not be at the expense of the municipalities, the most isolated regions," insisted Emmanuel Macron, who said "refuse to stigmatize people" and "think of the citizens who spend 45 minutes, an hour" in their car. "They will say to themselves" This is an urban project, it is not for me "," he justified.
A possible referendum in 2021
The French called to decide on ecology in 2021? "I leave this option open," said the President of the Republic. If he has already dismissed the idea of rewriting the preamble of the Constitution, opposing to place "the environment above our other fundamental values, above our democratic rules", Emmanuel Macron said he was ready to launch a referendum next year.
"The rewriting of article 1 of our Constitution [...] to introduce the concepts of biodiversity, environment, fight against global warming [...], I am in favor of this proposal", he slipped, also saying that it was open to a popular vote "on one or more pieces of law" incorporating other proposals from the Convention. It would be the first referendum since 2005 and the "no" to the European Constitution.
No dividend tax
That too is no. Emmanuel Macron dismissed the idea of a 4% tax on corporate dividends to finance the ecological transition. "It would reduce our chance of attracting additional investment," he said. Our companies need to innovate and need to attract French and foreign capital. We are already a highly taxed country. "
Throughout his intervention, the president refused to oppose the economic emergency to the economic constraints. He thus swept away any model based on degrowth to mitigate the pollution of our country. "An economy almost stopped has only reduced our emissions by 8% (Editor's note: forecasts established for the whole of 2020)", he slipped, evoking the confinement linked to the pandemic of coronavirus. "A model of decline is also a model of decline of our social model," he said.
Additional aid of 15 billion euros
More money for a greener economy: Emmanuel Macron announced the release of 15 billion euros in favor of the ecological transition for the last two years of his mandate.
It also approved the principle of a moratorium on new commercial areas on the outskirts of cities as well as that of aid measures for the renovation of buildings.
"Ecocide" returned to the international
The President of the Republic was cautious on the subject referring this principle to international law. However, he stressed that he would rely on the Citizens' Climate Convention and lawyers to see how the principle could be incorporated into French law "while respecting our fundamental principles".
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Another file referred to the international scale: the carbon tax. "The priority is to have a European carbon tax," said Emmanuel Macron. It's essential. "