French presidential candidates’ environmentalism often misses the point

(EurActiv, 19 Apr 2017) Never before have so many presidential candidates taken such trouble to trumpet their environmental credentials. But this does not necessarily mean they know what environmentalism is all about. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

“We are making progress!” This comment from a long-suffering environmentalist neatly sums up the French presidential campaign. To their credit, all 11 candidates have included environmental measures in their electoral programmes, which in itself is a step in the right direction.

Green France

A certain consensus appears to have matured around some subjects, like clean energy. Gone are the days of Nicolas Sarkozy or François Hollande’s promises to “develop renewable energies”. This time, the candidates are serious.

Basing their pledges on data from NGOs or organisations like ADEME (France’s environment and energy agency), some candidates laid out their visions for a carbon-neutral France, with solar, wind and biomass energy keeping the lights on by the middle of the century. Many in the energy sector found these programmes completely unrealistic.

EurActiv, 19 Apr 2017: French presidential candidates’ environmentalism often misses the point