1.8million demand France act on climate change

Ecology Minister François de Rugy

Greenpeace and Oxfam among the organisations that set-up the petition calling for legal action against France over 'climate inaction'

More than 1.8million people have signed an online petition calling for the French state to face court for not doing enough to fight climate change.

Greenpeace and Oxfam joined French environmental groups Notre Affaire à Tous and la Fondation pour la Nature et l'Homme to launch the petition in the week leading up to Christmas, following widespread dismay at the recent COP24 summit at the government's axeing of planned fuel tax rises in the face of the Gilets Jaunes protests.

Signatories include French film stars Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as former Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot.

The French petition follows a successful legal bid to force the Dutch government to do more to reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality. Similar court cases are being considered in the UK, Norway, and New Zealand.

Ecology Minister François de Rugy said in a video on Twitter: "I share this impatience, I understand this impatience that is expressed (...) we can no longer just sign international agreements, we must act here and now."

NGOs are now waiting for a strong commitment from the State before taking legal action. In France, greenhouse gas emissions have been rising steadily since 2016.

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