cloudyn.png
Wednesday February 19th, 2020 6:54PM

Macron vows "fight of the century” against climate change

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PARIS (AP) — France’s leader called the battle against climate change and environmental destruction “the fight of the century” Thursday after visiting a melting glacier in the French Alps.

But President Emmanuel Macron’s tour of the Mer de Glace glacier and an ice cave carved into it near the mountain town of Chamonix was condemned as an electoral stunt by environmental campaigners. Critics accused Macron of using the icy photo-op to burnish his government’s green credentials ahead of France's municipal elections next month.

Clad in winter gear, Macron listened attentively Thursday to explanations about how France’s biggest glacier has lost much of its splendor, retreating up its valley and shedding so much of its thickness that the stairs leading down to it have had to be extended.

Macron said seeing the glacier's retreat brought home the “fear that it disappears” and a feeling of “our own vulnerability, the fragility of the landscape which, until only a few decades ago, we thought was unchangeable.”

“I deeply believe that this fight, which is a long-term fight, can also have concrete, tangible, visible results. It will be the fight of the century, of our capacity to invent new ways to live and do, sustainably,” he said.

But Macron faces vociferous opposition on multiple fronts over climate change. Activists say his lobbying for global action is not backed up by sufficient French government measures to curb the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. France is behind on its European renewable energy commitments, ranking second from bottom in the EU, according to Eurostat.

Macron has also delayed by 10 years plans to reduce the share of French energy derived from nuclear power from 71% to 50%.

Beyond the government, opponents in France's yellow vest economic protest movement fiercely opposed Macron's efforts to hike fuel taxes to combat pollution, complaining that the move penalized regular workers on tight budgets.

Environmental campaigners dismissed Macron's Alpine visit as an unnecessary and cynical use of taxpayer-funded resources to try to sap support from pro-ecology candidates in the municipal election in March.

“The government is trying to repaint its policies in green,” said Julien Bayou, national secretary of the EELV ecology party.

___

Sylvie Corbet contributed.

Read all AP stories about climate change at https://apnews.com/Climate

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Macron vows "fight of the century” against climate change
France's leader has visited a melting glacier in the Alps to drive home the need to fight climate change
10:19AM ( 7 minutes ago )
US announces 15th virus case, this one in Texas evacuee
Another case of the new coronavirus infection has been confirmed in a U.S. evacuee from China, this one is in Texas
10:10AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Astros' Bregman, Altuve apologize for sign-stealing scheme
Houston Astros players Alex Bregman and José Altuve say the team is sorry for its sign-stealing scheme that was investigated and punished by Major League Baseball
10:06AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Spanish court keeps former Mexican oil chief in detention
A Spanish court has ruled that a former head of Mexico's state oil company must remain in custody while an extradition case is heard against him
9:29AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Fear, boredom, adventure fill each day on quarantined ship
Daily life on the cruise ship quarantined off a Japanese port can include fear, excitement and soul-crushing boredom
9:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
Stormy US-Europe relations as top officials head to Munich
With tensions between the United States and Europe running high over numerous issues, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are descending on the German city of Munich for an annual security forum
9:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
US announces 15th virus case, this one in Texas evacuee
Another case of the new coronavirus infection has been confirmed in a U.S. evacuee from China, this one is in Texas
10:10AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Astros' Bregman, Altuve apologize for sign-stealing scheme
Houston Astros players Alex Bregman and José Altuve say the team is sorry for its sign-stealing scheme that was investigated and punished by Major League Baseball
10:06AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Tesla offers $2B in additional shares, stock dips slightly
Shares of Tesla Inc. fell just over 1% in early trading Thursday after the electric vehicle and solar panel maker said it would sell more than $2 billion worth of additional shares
9:59AM ( 26 minutes ago )
UK Treasury chief quits as Johnson shakes up Cabinet
U.K. Treasury chief Sajid Javid unexpectedly has resigned after resisting a reduction in his power, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tightened his grip on government with a Cabinet shake-up
9:54AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Stocks open lower on Wall Street as virus cases spike
Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street, following declines overseas after China reported a sharp spike in deaths and infections from a new virus after the hardest-hit province of Hubei applied a new classification system that broadens the scope of diagnoses
9:45AM ( 40 minutes ago )