France's 'big green recovery plan' not big enough for campaigners

(The Guardian, 3 Sep 2020) A third of €100bn post-Covid package to be used for greener future, but critics say it falls short.

Billed by the economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, as a “big green recovery plan”, one-third of France’s €100bn (£90bn) post-Covid economic stimulus package will be spent, in the government’s words, on “ecological transition” and “greening the economy”.

Environmental groups said the plan, presented on Thursday by the prime minister, Jean Castex, and other cabinet members, marked a welcome first step – but criticised a missed opportunity to break decisively with a growth-driven, high-carbon economy.

“After multiple announcements of a plan meant to ‘reconcile economy and ecology’, the government has presented a recovery plan from a bygone era,” said Jean-François Julliard, the head of Greenpeace France. “It’s a lot less green than it looks.”

The overall package, aimed at pulling France out of a deep Covid-induced slump, equates to 4% of GDP – more than any other big EU country – and has three key objectives: increasing competitiveness, boosting jobs, and greening the economy.

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The Guardian, 3 Sep 2020: France's 'big green recovery plan' not big enough for campaigners