135 French MPs lobby hard for the ecological transition

The genesis of this project was connected to departure of Nicolas Hulot, former Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. [flickr.com/photos/franceecologie…]

A parliamentary group, bringing together 135 French MPs from across the political spectrum wants to collectively carry the issues of the ecological transition, particularly during the debate on the 2019 finance bill. EURACTIV France’s media partner the Journal de l’environnement reports.

“We need to make politics ecological rather than politicising ecology,” said Sophie Auconie, the centrist UDI MP for Indre-et-Loire.

Convinced that the ecological transition can no longer wait, the MPs belonging to six political groups (only the far-left La France Insoumise declined the offer) have decided to establish a group “to have a better chance of putting through amendments than if everybody remained in their own corner,” explained Jennifer de Temmerman, an MP for La République En Marche (LREM) in the Nord electoral district.

The finance bill (PLF) represents a golden opportunity to test the political power of the transpartisan group, which is dedicated to the ecological transition and its funding. The group is the first of its kind in France.

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Hydrogen and sustainable mobility

Common ground has been found with respect to hydrogen. “We will ensure that PLF 2019 provides the €100 million announced as part of the hydrogen plan,” said Mathieu Orphelin.

The LREM MP for Maine-et-Loire, who mentioned that “the genesis of this collective was connected to Nicolas Hulot’s departure,” is also expecting “significant progress to combat the artificialisation of the soil, to promote alternatives to cars and to replace old heavy goods vehicles and vans.”

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Renovating “thermal sieves”

Another priority is to renovate “thermal sieves”, of which there are seven million in France.

“We will propose measures so that there are ambitious targets in the finance law. More ambitious targets than the current rate, which amounts to 400,000 renovations a year,” added socialist MP for Mayenne, Guillaume Garot, who is also vice-president of the commission for sustainable development.

How can this be achieved? Apparently, no common solution has been found yet, with several MPs stressing the need to debate within the group. This debate will notably take place at a seminar dedicated to funding the ecological transition, to be held at the Palais Bourbon on 26 November.

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Finally, the group will propose a bonus-malus system for HFC fluids, tax credits for supermarkets that donate unsold food items and doubling the Fonds Chaleur (one of Macron’s campaign promises). The debates on the 2019 budget, which have started in a public session in the lower chamber, will be conducted until 16 November.

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