France’s National Assembly approved a new bill on Tuesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions, even as opposition lawmakers and environmental groups objected and said it would leave the country short of its Paris Agreement targets. The bill was approved by a 332-77 margin by the lower house where President Emmanuel Macron has a working majority.
The bill itself aims to introduce new measures to aid France in reaching its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent compared to the 1990 levels by 2030. This is planned to be done by implementing measures such as banning domestic flights for routes that can be covered by train in less than two-and-a-half hours, and the new crime of “ecocide” that was introduced to enable the fining of polluters. Another significant provision of the bill includes raising awareness of climate change and battling climate change denial.
Climate activists have taken the position that the bill is “too timid” given the looming prospect of climate change and have accused Macron of a half-hearted commitment to saving the environment. Minister of the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, however, views the text as “one of the biggest laws of [Macron’s] term.”
The bill comes as an attempt for Macron to create a more inclusive government, representing French citizens in all positions of the political spectrum after the anti-government riots by the 2018 “yellow-vest” protesters.
Though the bill has passed this stage without any major hurdles, it is likely that it could share the same fate as a German environmental bill which was recently deemed insufficient by the German Federal Constitutional Court.