Environment minister fired for questioning French government's green ambitions

FRANCE: France's environment minister, Delphine Batho, has been fired by the president François Hollande for openly questioning the government's green credentials.

Out... former French energy minister Delphine Batho

In a radio interview yesterday, Batho complained that the proposed 2014 budget, which saw her ministry's funding cut by 7% and the loss of more than 1,000 jobs, was "a bad budget".

She also wondered whether the environment really is a priority for the government and whether it has "the ability to move from rhetoric to action".

During Hollande's election campaign, he had announced that his ambition for the energy transition would "reach the highest level".

Batho, a strong defender of renewable energy, will be replaced by the Philippe Martin, who has a mixed record on environmental issues. His big test will come in wrapping up the national debate on the energy transition, which is currently taking place, and drafting the legislation to follow this autumn.