The French government is shortly due due to announce its plans on energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions to be implemented up to 2028. Environmental groups are worried the country is set to reduce its ambition on emissions targets and on the decommissioning of its nuclear power stations. Figures meanwhile show that Paris is not currently meeting its existing carbon emission commitments, a revelation that comes just weeks before the next climate change summit, COP24, takes place in Poland. Christophe Gueugneau reports.
An activist has gone on trial in a town in south-west France for having “requisitioned” some chairs from a bank. Jon Palais and others took the chairs as part of a wider protest against tax evasion and the use of tax havens which costs France billions of euros a year. The bank in question, BNP Paribas, took exception to the protest and made a formal complaint over their “stolen” chairs. But as Dan Israel reports, the legal complaint backfired as Palais and his supporters turned the trial into a media event in which the bank's own actions were held up to scrutiny.
The French government’s environment and energy minister Ségolène Royal has just unveiled her plans for what is known as “energy transition” - the move to a society which uses less energy and which switches from fossil and nuclear fuel to renewables. This long-awaited new law, which will be debated by the French Parliament in the autumn, has been touted as one of the flagship measures of President François Hollande's five-year term of office. But as Mediapart's environment correspondent Jade Lindgaard and Dan Israel report, the proposals, while regarded as a step in the right direction, have been widely described as timid and lacking in ambition.
Amid a six-month programme of national consultations commissioned by the French government to help define the country’s future energy policies, a conference organised by two leading business organizations in central Paris on May 17th provided a platform for company bosses to argue that energy transition strategies should first and foremost be concerned not with the environment but with industrial competitiveness. Jade Lindgaard reports.