France

France

French energy minister quits in live radio interview

FRANCE: Environment and energy minister Nicolas Hulot said he is quitting the government because president Emmanuel Macron is not doing enough on his climate and environmental goals.

Nicolas Hulot announced his departure after the government vowed to relax hunting laws (pic: Arnaud Bouissou / Terra)
Nicolas Hulot announced his departure after the government vowed to relax hunting laws (pic: Arnaud Bouissou / Terra)

Announcing his departure live on the radio this morning (28 August), Hulot said the French government was taking "mini steps" in tackling climate change, defending biodiversity and addressing environmental threats, according to multiple media reports.

President Macron had declared to "make this planet great again" and made manifesto promises to invest €15 billion in environmental measures, to double French wind and solar PV capacity and to renovate half of the country’s energy-inefficient buildings by 2022.

But Hulot told French radio Macron's actions were inadequate. The minister said: "I don’t want to create the illusion that we’re facing up to it. I can’t lie to myself any more."

Hulot announced his departure after the government vowed to relax hunting laws — a measure aimed at winning support in rural areas, but seen as a betrayal by environmentalists.

He had apparently not informed the government, prompting Benjamin Griveaux, secretary of state to the prime minister, to tell French news channel BFM: "I think the most basic courtesy would have been to warn the president of the republic and the prime minister."

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