In a shot at extreme populism, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that the French government would invest 15 billion euros that would be put towards a greener economy.
In a way, Macron is weaponizing the eco agenda, and he is doing immediately after France’s Green party won big in the municipal elections, turning many cities throughout the country.
Macron vowed that he was prepared to call a referendum to revise the French constitution so that it includes “climate aims” – but only if parliament would allow it.
Potentially linked to this populism and weaponization of the eco agenda, on July 3rd, the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, together with all ministers resigned.
This is the first act on Macrons pledge to “reinvent his administration and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid in 2022.”
France is in the biggest economic depression since World War II, and the economy is expected to shrink 11% in 2020.
Macron and Philippe dined together on July 1st and met on July 2nd. Both men agreed on “the need for a new government to embody the next phase, a new path,” an anonymous Presidential aide said.
Philippe was elected as mayor of the city of Le Havre, so he will not be unemployed, and he could potentially attempt to rival Macron in 2022s presidential election.
Regardless, Macron’s vows are simply following through on earlier populist promises such as the Citizens’ Climate Council, which was formed in the wake of the “yellow vest” protests.
Macron expressed support for a proposal to impose a moratorium on new commercial zones in city outskirts, and said he would consider bringing in a new law against “ecocide”.
“The Climate Council defined ecocide as any action causing serious environmental damage and proposed the crime be punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 million euros ($11.27 million).”
This is of great significance, since ecocide appears to be a very loose term and it may be used to strongarm many.
Macron, however, didn’t go all out in supporting it, since he refused to introduce a 4% tax on corporate dividends, in an attempt to fund greener policies, which would make investment less attractive.
With the mainstream being on the side of individuals such as Greta Thunberg, Macro is the highest-level follower that she has accrued. And his policies are now turning inward.
Earlier, France made attempts to meddle into the situation with the Amazon forest fires in Brazil and it was met with strong opposition, which led to significant diplomatic tension and accusations of meddling into Brasilia’s internal affairs.
Now, after being introduced internationally, like for a dress rehearsal, the term “ecocide” could be applied to independent states around the world, which, in one way or another, are “ruining the environment” and some sort of intervention or sanctioning is required.
As such, this is a double-test – if this form of populism would prove effective and bring back some votes for Emmanuel Macron, plus see if “ecocide” is an adequate justification for some questionable activity, both internally and internationally.
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