The framework is set from the start: “The choices made for ecology must be acceptable to the French”, emphasizes Emmanuel Macron. Understand: not at any cost, and especially not just any old way. Barely arrived this Monday evening, in front of the members of the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate, the Head of State did not wait long to set foot in the dish.
For weeks he has been accused of backtracking on environmental matters, of going back on his commitments, in particular this famous promise to take up “without filter” all of the 146 proposals made by the 150 citizens.
So, in the cold and granite framework of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese), where this “stage” meeting was taking place, Macron wanted to give pledges. Without denying anything of his intentions, of course. But he still waited until the end of the meeting to make an announcement that almost caught the participants by surprise: the organization of a referendum to include the fight for the climate in Article 1 of the Constitution, such as the conventionaries demanded it. A first. And above all a very strong symbol.
The secret had been carefully kept. Until the end of the discussions, the Head of State, who likes to remain master of the clocks, has spared the suspense. Until this promise, shortly before 9 pm, when the meeting had already started… almost four hours: “The proposal on article 1 will be transmitted at the same time as the Climate bill will be presented to the Council of Ministers” , he formulated.
Either during the month of January. “It will be constitutional reform in one article. Constitutionally, it must first pass through the National Assembly and the Senate, and be voted on in identical terms. That day, then, it could be submitted to a referendum, ”he added.
“Discussed in all the villages”
Silence around him. Grégoire Fraty, one of the spokespersons of the Citizens’ Convention, is almost blown away. Just before, he had however called on the Head of State to demand that “the guarantee of the preservation of the environment and biodiversity” be included in article 1 of the Constitution, “because it is the basis of fundamental values of the Republic ”and that“ article 1 should be discussed in all the villages ”.
His wish could be granted. At least if the text passes the parliamentary obstacle without hindrance. What is not said. Not certain, either, that the Assembly and the Senate (with LR majority) are moreover delighted to recover this presidential “hot potato”. Especially since until now, with the constitutional reform, Macron has rather broken his teeth against the senators.
But this Monday evening, he did not shy away from his pleasure of the moment. Especially after a meeting that did not spare him. A rough and tense moment. With this harsh observation, summed up from the start by Christine, from a “small village in the Alps”. “The measures we are proposing are all diminished,” she regrets. You have the opportunity to make history by making strong decisions that will mark future generations. So, dare, Mr. President! “.
The sacrosanct totems of the Convention have also been recalled: such as the ban on advertising for the most polluting products, the obligation for owners to renovate their homes by 2030, and of course the moratorium on the 5G that everyone is claiming.
But in front of them, Emmanuel Macron remained straight in his boots: “Making the renovation compulsory, that means that we are putting the strain on each household. There are some who will have the means, others will not, ”he explained to justify his reservation. He was even more categorical on 5G: “We will not do industrialization without digital technology. I believe in digital reindustrialisation ”. Not sure that the announcement of the referendum was enough to satisfy everyone.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr