The appointment of 'France’s David Attenborough' Nicolas Hulot as environment minister has turned the Elysee’s ambitions to assume global leadership on climate change up a notch. We look at whether promises to go carbon-neutral by 2050 and ban fossil fuel cars will be fulfilled
When philanthropist Michael Bloomberg launched the “We are still in” coalition in May, defying Donald Trump’s move to take the US out of the Paris climate accord, he did so during an unannounced visit to the Elysee presidential palace, flanked by its newly elected occupant Emmanuel Macron and Paris mayor Ann Hidalgo.
Ever since those heady days in December 2015, when global leaders joined hands and raised them in victory at achieving the deal to keep the global temperature rise to 2 degrees, France has had a high profile for climate leadership. And Macron seems determined to drive that leadership forward, not only on climate but in other areas of responsible business.
His rebuke of Trump on Twitter, his appeal to Americans to work with France to combat climate change and his restating of Europe’s commitment to the climate accord, won him huge kudos both at home and abroad. A government agency launched a website wooing cheesed-off US climate scientists. And Macron boasted after Trump’s visit to Paris last month that he’d managed to persuade the climate-change denying US president to have second thoughts.
Dr Julia Haake, who heads the Paris office of German sustainability ratings group Oekom Research, says public reaction...