France: how viable are Macron's new eco promises?

For his second term in office President Macron has promised to focus on "environmental planning". His new Prime Minister for Ecological Planning is to be in charge of strengthening and accelerating efforts to combat climate change in France. The idea has also been championed by Macron's left-wing populist rival Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The press takes different views of the plan and its potential.

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Libération (FR) /

A solid concept needed

Libération calls for an ambitious concept for the announced environmental planning:

“What should the roadmap look like? This is the biggest task ahead, and the IPCC's latest report has reminded us of its urgency. Quite apart from the appointments, speeches and method, the objectives set will show whether the plan is good or not. France can no longer afford minimal changes. If the whole planet lived like France, the earth's resources would have been used up by May 5. Globally, the earth's overshoot day comes a good deal later, at the end of July. So the plan had better be good!”

Contrepoints (FR) /

Big plans with little substance

The plan lacks seriousness, Contrepoints criticises:

“In other places and circumstances, Macron would have had no problem putting education at the top of his agenda. ... But environmental protection and the controversies about the climate, genetic engineering, glyphosate, nuclear power, the switch to electric power systems, organic farming and vegetarian menus in school cafeterias have practically become the sole political issue of the 21st century. To eclipse his competitors, Macron apparently wants to go all out and has promised to plant 140 million trees in a true 'celebration of nature'! ... It's hard to take all of this seriously. As so often, the most glittering announcements will probably be followed by inaction.”