Green surge rattles Macron in French election rout
Paris: President Emmanuel Macron on Monday pledged a raft of new commitments to the environment after his ruling party was routed in local elections marked by spectacular gains for the Greens.
Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party failed to notch up any significant victory in the second round of Sunday’s municipal elections that had been postponed for over three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By contrast, the Greens made gains that exceeded their own expectations, with Green mayors now set to lead key regional hubs like Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.
Seeking to quickly regain the initiative, Marcron announced 15 billion euros ($17 billion) would be invested over two years in “the ecological conversion of our economy”.
The president stressed the need to “reconcile economy and ecology” in a nod to the sweeping gains of the Europe Ecology - Green Party (EELV) in elections marked by a record abstention rate of around 60 percent.
Hosting 150 members of a so-called “citizen’s convention” on climate reform for a pre-scheduled meeting, Macron promised the creation of a fund to invest in cleaner transport and buildings, and to “invent the industries of tomorrow.”
On Twitter, the president argued his government had a strong record on ecology, but conceded that “we need to go further, stronger.” - AFP