Emmanuel Macron and his government announced Thursday their determination to obtain "concrete and rapid results" on the climate after the first Ecological Defense Council (CDE), denounced by some of the opposition as an attempt to attract voters to three days of Europeans.
The only emblematic measure announced Thursday, the final judgment of the Montagne d'Or project in Guyana, which provided for a huge open-pit gold mine, become a point of attachment of environmental defenders. "The Montagne d'Or project will not happen," said Minister of Ecological Transition François de Rugy.
Criticism of the "political expediency" of holding this meeting at the Elysee Palace, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe replied that this Council was "of great politics with a big P". "We are talking about it, they (the opponents) are criticizing us, we would not talk about it, we would be criticized," he added.
The environment has become one of the main battlegrounds ahead of Sunday's poll, for which the list of the presidential majority is now outpaced by that of the National Rally, with a gap of 0.5 to two points, according to the latest polls.
By opening the CDE in the presence of 13 ministers, Emmanuel Macron said that, "on the ecology, the time is more to the word", but that of "very concrete decisions".
More than two hours later, Edouard Philippe assured: "we must go faster and further" in terms of ecology but "without giving up our ambition to produce more wealth in France".
"This Defense Council serves no purpose other than brewing air," Greenpeace said immediately. "The government drools" because it has announced "no quantified measures or any structuring policy" and only recalled commitments already known while conducting a "double speech", according to the NGO.
In addition to stopping the "Montagne d'Or" project, François de Rugy explained that a reform of the mining code imposing environmental constraints on mining projects should be presented in December.
"Another meeting for nothing!" Reacted Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for which "Macron thinks that all problems are resolved with com beats".
– "Incompatibility" –
François de Rugy also announced the setting up of an observatory of the artificialization of the grounds with a view to a calendar to go towards the "zero artificialisation" and the launching of studies for the deposit of plastic and aluminum packaging.
The government will also implement a "green budget approach" by assessing its budget decisions with regard to environmental commitments. According to him, the "green investment deficit" is of the order of 20 billion euros per year.
"We want to ensure that the impact of our budget decisions is systematically sifted through our international commitments on climate preservation" and "for each measure determine the effectiveness or otherwise of public spending", he added.
Edouard Philippe has also announced new loans from the Bank of the territories to local authorities to the tune of three billion euros to finance daily mobility projects and a rise of one billion euros loans dedicated to the energy renovation of social housing.
– "Raking voices" –
Announced April 25 as part of the post-Grand Debate measures, the CDE, presented as "the ultimate decision-making tool", will meet again in mid-July, said Edouard Philippe.
Emmanuel Macron is regularly accused by his critics of making great speeches about ecology, punctuated by slogans like his "Make our planet great again", but without them being followed effects.
LREM has placed the ecological transition among the priorities of its program for the Europeans it addresses with some "taken war" torn from the camp ecologist, as Pascal Canfin and Pascal Durand.
But environmentalists accuse the head of state of playing political opportunism by "greening" the list of the majority.
"President Macron has decided in recent weeks to become green," lashed Yannick Jadot, head of the list EELV, accusing the head of state to want to "rake the voices" of his training on Wednesday night on France 2.
Before the last meetings Friday night, a final televised debate will meet Thursday evening on BFMTV eleven heads of the list. That of the watch on France 2 brought together some two million viewers.
According to an Ipsos poll released on Thursday, RN and LREM are up 24% and 23.5% respectively.