Thousands of them took part in the climate march and demanded a law. In Paris, the procession left from the Republic to join the Bastille via the Châtelet.
The Climate and Resilience Law
On Tuesday May 4, the National Assembly adopted the “Climate and Resilience” law. The text was to translate 149 proposals of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (CCC). Indeed, the President of the Republic had summoned citizens following the “Yellow Vests” crisis. The 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was included in social justice.
The government bill took over less than 10% of the 149 CCC proposals. In addition, 20 to 25% of the 7,000 amendments tabled were deemed inadmissible. In addition, opposition members had little time to defend those who remained.
On Sunday afternoon, a total of 115,000 people (according to organizers) took part in 163 parades across the country. The number of Parisian demonstrators (56,000) slightly exceeded that of the end of March, just before the start of the review of the climate law.
“Climate law, The March after! Paris, place to come” was the slogan which asked the demonstrators to reach the capital on May 9. The purpose of this march was to unite against what lies ahead. It was to denounce the lack of ambition of the government which refuses to face the ecological emergency.
The collective of unions and environmental organizations, “Never again” set the tone. United for over a year to counter the rhetoric and actions of the government, he wants to demonstrate that social justice and the environment go hand in hand. According to Greenpeace, “The health crisis is just a pretext not to change anything in an economic and productive model that has only lasted too long.” This is why the association was present behind the collective’s banners in the large French metropolises (Lyon, Montpellier, Paris, Rouen and Toulouse).
Guarantor of the CCC, Cyril Dion, writer, director and French environmental activist, was in the Parisian procession to denounce the lack of ambition of the law and the abandonment of the referendum “.
“It is a question of continuing to denounce the lack of ambition of the climate law and the almost certain abandonment of the referendum which constitutes a further step backwards”, he declared.
The environmentalist deputy Matthieu Orphelin ruled that “the government was maneuvering so that the process did not go to the end, refusing all consultations with the Senate”.
The Animalist Party, born in 2016, took place in the Parisian procession behind the Socialist Party, EELV etc. According to Laurence Volbart, one of the spokespersons of the party, climate protection and animal protection are 2 struggles that come together.
For Marie Cohuet, Alternatiba, the Citizen’s Climate Convention was, at the base, “an interesting democratic experience. It allowed citizens to carry out a work praised by the experts of the High Council for the Climate”.
The signs read: “Stop inaction, we can’t take it anymore!” “Climate law = Failure of the five-year term”. “Cardboard policies, in the yellow bin”. “The caps are cooked” . “Death to the patriarchy, not to the climate”. “Ministry of Ecological Betrayal”
Youth for Climate
Youth were strongly present during the parade on May 9, including members of Youth for Climate. This citizen movement is established in Belgium and France. It is part of the Fridays for Future initiative initiated by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
The movement was born in Belgium in early January 2019, at the call of the young Swede. The then 16-year-old high school student was behind the school’s first climate strike. On December 29, 2018, Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois, 2 Belgian students, invite students from their country to strike every Thursday. Adélaïde Charlier ensures the dissemination of the movement in the French-speaking part of Belgium. The first event brought together only 3,000 people in Brussels. However, on January 24, 35,000 people demonstrate in front of the European Parliament.
In France, the movement was launched in February 2019, at the Sorbonne, as a movement of young people mobilized for climate and social justice, the protection of the environment and biodiversity. After weekly marches, the movement radicalized by anti-capitalist actions at the end of 2019. The first day of the school strike was held on February 14, 2019 in front of the Ministry of Ecological Transition to denounce the inaction of the government. We then witness the blocking of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations to demand an energy reduction policy. In the afternoon, the march brings together several thousand people accompanied by Greta Thunberg, Anuna de Wever, Kyra Gantois and Adélaïde Charlier. At the end of the day, Emmanuel Macron receives, at his request, Greta Thunberg accompanied by some activists. The agricultural show is then the target of the demonstrators. With eco-feminism as its motivation, the first Global Climate Strike is being held on March 15, 2019. The march brings together more than 50,000 people in Paris and 168,000 throughout France according to its organizers.
The Minister’s responses
Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition, welcomed the existence of the “climate marches”. However, she assures that her text would remain as “one of the greatest laws of the five-year term”. The parliamentary discussion could enrich it with new advances.