French green groups call for 'day of disobedience'

A total 14 environmental organisations call for day of action on April 19 in protest over government inaction on climate change

A total 14 environmental organisations have called for a day of 'non-violent civil disobedience' to 'block the Republic of polluters'.

In an article published on April 11, the associations - including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace France - demanded an escalation of protests over environmental issues following recent climate marches and school strikes.

They criticised the 'fine speeches' of President Emmanuel Macron and his government, and called for a day of disruption on April 19.

"Despite his fine speeches, Emmanuel Macron has proven since the beginning of his mandate that he is not the climate champion," the groups wrote in a joint open letter on franceinfo.

"Young people are on strike to defend their right to a future. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are marching for climate, social and biodiversity justice. More than two million people support the legal action against the state for climate inaction."

The associations - 350.org, AEFJN, ANV-COP21, Enseignant.e.s pour la planète, Extinction Rébellion France, Greenpeace France, Il est encore temps, ~ le mouvement, Les Amis de la Terre France, Les Désobéissants, Sciences citoyennes, Unis pour le climat, Youth For Climate France, ZEA - claim that, despite the alarm signals, Mr Macron has refused to 'change course' on environmentally damaging policies.

"Since 2015, greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing again in France. Instead of stopping this trend, Emmanuel Macron chose to transfer responsibility to his predecessors and postpone this race against time."

They say that the government is putting business before the environment, with a tax system that favours multi-national businesses, while banking deregulation allows banks to profit from eco-unfriendly business.

The letter says that the 'toxic alliance' between government and 'major polluters' is preventing necessary measures to stop climate change.

It concluded that the only recourse left was to stage a 'day of disobedience' on April 19.

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