Former environment minister of France proposes new ecology program

France’s ex-environment minister Nicolas Hulot and a group of NGO’s and trade unions presented a new pact for ecology and society on Tuesday, 5th of March, aiming to address global warming and social inequality.

“This coalition” of 19 environmental organisations and unions “wants to make issues relating to the environment and society indissoluble,” the former environment minister told Le Monde newspaper Tuesday, in conjunction with Laurent Berger, the secretary general of France’s main trade union.

Their new pact includes 66 proposals for fighting catastrophic climate change, curbing the erosion of biodiversity, while at the same time improving the lives of ordinary citizens.

“There are two important things. First of all, we need to be able to separate investments from EU criteria,” comments Hulot, suggesting that public investment into sustainable energy projects should not be subjected to the EU’s tight budget rule of three per cent.

“Moreover, what is required is a “big bang” reform in tax because the current system is unfair, and the effort is not equally shared,” he said.

Hulot added that the finance ministry should get rid of allocating the fuel tax in the national budget, pointing out that the profits from this tax should be used for social gain.

Nicolas Hulot resigned in August 2018 because he was dissatisfied with the french government’s direction.