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French president backs creation of 'ecocide' crime

President Macron has today backed the idea of creating a crime of ‘ecocide’.

The announcement follows a meeting at the Elysée with the 150 members of the Citizens’ Convention for the Climate.

The president also said he is favourable towards a referendum on changes to the French constitution in support of the environment.

It comes as the greens had significant wins in the second round of the French local elections yesterday. 

The Citizens’ Convention for the Climate was created following the gilets jaunes protests of 2018-19, with members of the public selected at random to discuss and suggest ideas to the government. It recently compiled a list of 149 ideas designed to fight climate change.

What is proposed by the president

  • President Macron said he would support the creation of a crime of ecocide in discussions with international organisations and that he is studying the possibility of introducing it into French law. Ecocide, one of the ideas backed by the Citizens’s Convention, would refer to causing serious damage to the environment and would mainly relate to actions by companies.
  • A referendum could be held in 2021 on introducing ideas of biodiversity, protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the first article of the French constituation. Mr Macron said he favours the idea. If such a referendum is held it would be the first in France since that in 2005 on the adoption of a European constitution.
  • The president promised an extra €15billion over two years in financial aid towards making the French economy greener. This would include creating an “ecological transformation fund” to invest in clean transport, renovate buildings and “invent the industries of tomorrow”.

The promises come as the president acknowledged the strong results for the greens in the weekend’s elections, saying they showed “ecology is at the heart of French people’s preoccupations”.

Previous articles

Greens surge to victory in French local elections 

What is ecocide, the new crime proposed for France? [subscriber extra] 

French climate convention voters reject 28-hours work week [subscriber extra] 

French climate change convention to vote this weekend [subscriber extra]

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