Green is buzzword for France’s local elections

Plans are in place to transform four notable areas of Paris into ‘urban forests’

Green issues have taken centre stage in this month’s local elections in France – including for the mayor of Paris.

For the first time, almost all the candidates include ecology to varying degrees in their manifestos.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (Socialist), who is hoping to win a second term, has said that the environment is at the heart of her campaign. She wants more bikes in and more cars out of the capital and promises to add 400km to the existing 1,018km of cycle routes by 2024.

One of her rivals, mathematician Cédric Villani, who is running as an independent after failing to win the nomination for LREM, said he will plant more trees, invest €5billion into making buildings energy-efficient, and also create more cycle paths.

The elections are seen as crucial for President Macron’s centrist LREM party after the far-right Rassemblement National of self-declared 2022 presidential candidate Marine Le Pen topped the 2019 European election polls.

It took 23.3% of the vote in France, ahead of LREM, which polled 22.4%.

More recently, LREM has been rocked by a number of MP defections.

It now has 300 MPs, compared to the 314 that were elected to office in the 2017 elections. A ...

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