France’s National Assembly passed a new bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite objections from opposition lawmakers and environmental groups who said it would leave the country short of its Paris Agreement commitments. The lower house, where President Emmanuel Macron has a working majority, endorsed the bill by a vote of 332-77.
The bill’s aim is to implement new policies to help France meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This can be accomplished by enacting laws such as restricting domestic flights for routes that can be served by train in less than two and a half hours, as well as the new crime of “ecocide,” which will enable polluters to be fined. Another important feature of the bill is raising climate change awareness and combating climate change denial. Climate activists argue that the bill is “too timid” in light of the looming threat of climate change, accusing Macron of a half-hearted commitment to environmental protection. Minister of the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, on the other hand, sees the document as “one of Macron’s most important rules.”
After the anti-government protests by the 2018 “yellow-vest” demonstrators, Macron is attempting to establish a more democratic government that represents French people across the political spectrum. Despite the fact that the bill has made it this far without significant setbacks, it is likely to follow in the footsteps of a German environmental bill that was recently found inadequate by the German Federal Constitutional Court.