Skip to content
Climate: five minutes to understand the quarrel between Macron and the Citizens’ Convention

“I felt it coming for a few weeks …” The deputy Matthieu Orphelin is not surprised by the rebellion of the participants in the Citizen’s Convention for the climate. On Monday, these participants urged Emmanuel Macron to “reaffirm [son] formal and public commitment to the unfiltered review of [leurs] proposals ”, they write in a letter made public on social networks.

“We assert our right to alert to express our concerns,” says one of these 150 members, Mélanie Cosnier, former carer and mayor of Souvigné-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe).

What role does the Citizen’s Climate Convention have?

Presented by Emmanuel Macron as being one of the responses to the “great national debate” and to the yellow vests crisis, this Convention was constituted in October 2019. 150 citizens of all professions and from different corners of the country were drawn to the goes out to participate.

These French women and men were commissioned to debate among themselves for several months in order to develop a whole series of proposals in favor of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These measures would then be submitted to the government.

What are their proposals?

Their report, containing 149 proposals, was submitted on June 21. This includes, in particular, the ban on certain polluting vehicles and the implementation of a reinforced eco-contribution per kilometer on plane tickets. Certain “shock” ideas, such as the 28-hour work week, had been retoked after sometimes heated debates.

In the process, on June 29, the 150 participants were invited to the Elysee Palace by Emmanuel Macron. The Head of State then announced to them that he was committed to passing all their proposals to the Council of Ecological Defense or to submit to Parliament … with the exception of three of them: the reduction of the maximum speed at 110 km / h on the motorway, the inclusion of environmental protection in the preamble to the Constitution, and the 4% tax on dividends. These are the three famous “jokers” released by the Head of State.

VIDEO. Citizens’ convention: 110 km / h, tax on dividends, ecocide … Macron’s three refusals

For the 146 other proposals, the way seemed clear, even if the deputies and senators will have the last word.

So where does the falling out come from?

Since the start of the summer, citizens have felt that other measures among the 146 “validated” have finally been ruled out. A first big hitch appeared on the 5G file. While a moratorium on the deployment of this new generation of mobile telephony was requested in black and white, the government decided to maintain the process of auctioning frequencies to the various operators. Orange won the bid at the end of September.

More generally, the members of the Citizens’ Convention denounce in their letters “communications openly hostile to [leurs] proposals formulated by certain professional actors ”and“ discordant ministerial declarations on the subjects of air transport, advertising, the deployment of 5G, the reduction in VAT on rail transport ”.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, for example said he was “not in favor” of lowering VAT. As for the measures impacting the aviation sector, they risk “completing a sector already on land”, warned the Minister Delegate in charge of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari. “When we hear that, we have the impression that several measures will never be done”, laments Mélanie Cosnier. “We accumulate the jokers, which is not at all in phase with what was planned”, thunders for his part Matthieu Orphelin (Écologie Démocratie Solidarité, ex LREM).

The entourage of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, prefers to see it as “democratic innovation”. “We have on the television sets what usually happens in interministerial meetings, with each minister defending the point of view for his sector. There, everything is done in the open, ”we detail. “The minister has the ambition to bring everything to fruition, but we are in the midst of a period of debate and consultation,” adds one of her relatives. “I do not believe that it is positive that citizens are disappointed,” replied the lawyer specializing in environmental law, Arnaud Gossement.

What does the head of state answer?

In a letter dated October 12, Emmanuel Macron replied to the members of the Citizen’s Convention that “nearly thirty [des] proposals are already, either fully or partially implemented ”. While acknowledging that several measures “are debating in our society and arouse strong opposition”, the Head of State also sees “a healthy debate” which testifies “to the vitality of the debate on ecological transition” .

Nevertheless, some proposals “deserve adjustments” or even “require a different time frame”, points out Emmanuel Macron. And to promise that a “real dashboard of the progress of the proposals” will be made available to everyone in the coming days.

What’s next on the calendar?

Some measures have been debated since Monday in Parliament as part of the examination of the finance bill, but with a good chance of not being adopted. Already last week, several leads had been rejected in committee.

The bulk of the 146 proposals (a little less than half) must be included in a specific bill, currently being prepared at the Ministry of Ecological Transition and which should be presented to the Council of Ministers in December. “This is the schedule still envisaged. If it changes by a week or two, it would be for technical aspects, ”the ministry said.

Mélanie Cosnier did not wait to formalize her wish to be a candidate in the Pays de la Loire in the regional elections next year, in a rally of the left and environmentalists. “At the regional level, we could set up things proactively on citizen participation or ecological transition,” she says, without hiding her disappointment with what is being implemented for the moment at the government level.

Original article by :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *