Essay by Eric Worrall
President Macron has chosen to dump climate activists in his desperate struggle to save his political skin from the rise of French Conservative Marine Le Pen.
Is Macron finally taking on the cult of net zero?
15 May 2023, 8:13am
Calling for a ‘pause’ of more EU environmental red tape, Macron said member states required stability if they were to attract future investment.
A day later, the president doubled down on his remarks while on a visit to Europe’s leading steel producer in Dunkirk. ‘I prefer factories that respect our European standards, which are the best, rather than those who want to add more and more standards, but without having any more factories,’ declared Macron.
There was a reason Macron chose Dunkirk. It is Marine Le Pen territory, a region where unemployment is at 9 per cent, 2 per cent more than the national average. ‘The Dunkirk basin has lost 6,000 industrial jobs in 20 years,’ acknowledged the president. ‘We will recreate 16,000 by 2030.’
But from the left there has been only rage. ‘Absolutely irresponsible’ cried the Green MP Sandrine Rousseau, who said it wasn’t fewer environmental regulations that were needed: ‘On the contrary, we have to increase them.’
Read more: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/is-macron-finally-taking-on-the-cult-of-net-zero/
This is a far cry from the days when Macron taunted President Trump for not being committed to the green cause with an offer to US climate scientists to relocate to France.
Macron is now desperate to distance himself from climate issues a little, to prevent more of his working class industrial belt supporters defecting to his rival Marine Le-Pen. France has been rent by widespread protests against pension reforms and cost of living rises. The situation in France is now so unstable, France has cancelled hosting the World Cup Soccer tournament in 2025, claiming they don’t have enough money to support the event – but more likely, Macron is worried football violence could escalate into a popular uprising against his heavy handed incompetence.
Politicians selling out climate activists will become more common, as the political value of climate activism as a campaign lever plummets. Support for climate policies mostly only works on left wing activists these days, so it is politically useless as a means to broaden your support base.
By contrast, other crisis like the fake AI crisis have stronger bipartisan appeal, which makes alternatives like the AI scare increasingly useful virtue signalling props.
Macron was an early mover when it came to talking up the AI scare.
The big question, what will President Macron do next? Will President Macron crawl to President Trump, and beg for an endorsement, to raise his credibility with right wing voters? Will he support more fossil fuel? Will he try an entirely new strategy, to deflect attention from his failures? Whatever happens, this is quite a fall, for a French President who promised to rule like a Roman God.