Around 150 ‘look up’ climate rallies to take place in France today

The demonstration name is a reference to last year’s US climate disaster denial film, Don’t Look Up

A French climate activist
A French climate activist holds a sign that reads 'warm our hearts, not the planet'

Up to 150 climate rallies are expected to take place around France today (March 12) activists have claimed, with the protestors calling for the environment to be made a key issue ahead of the presidential elections in April.

The protests have been dubbed “look up”, in reference to the satirical 2021 climate disaster film Don't Look Up.

The marches will take place all around the country, supported by around 450 NGOs, associations and other groups.

Read more: Election in France: Pay, tax cuts, energy – what candidates promise

“In France in 2022, the greatest threat humanity has ever known is being ignored in the middle of an election period, while our future is at stake,'' the protest organisers said.

“Let us not allow our rights and our future to remain hostage to those who are leading us to disaster. With their irresponsible passivity, governments tell us that there is nothing more we can do. This is not true.”

Élodie Nace, spokesperson for two of the groups organising the rallies - Alternatiba and ANV-COP21 - said that the “total absence of climate discussions in the election debate is quite dramatic”.

French environmental group L’Affaire du siècle claim that issues related to the climate made up 1.5% of media coverage in the last week studied, February 28 to March 6. This figure is down from 2.8% the previous week.

“While the war in Ukraine has obviously focused the media's attention, and rightly so, it should be stressed that this minimal treatment of the climate emergency was already taking place before the outbreak of the conflict", organisers of the ‘look up’ rallies stated.

Presidential candidates such as Anne Hidalgo of the Parti socialiste and Yannick Jadot of the French Green party are expected to attend the rallies.

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