French environment minister nicolas hulot (63) has announced his resignation and put head of state emmanuel macron under massive pressure. Lobbies are present in the circles of power, hulot criticized blatantly on the radio station france inter, where he announced his withdrawal live.
"I make the decision to leave the government."France is taking small steps in the environmental field that are not sufficient. Hulot, who comes from the environmental movement, took office 15 months ago with the center-right government of prime minister edouard philippe and is considered popular among the population, according to surveys. "This is a personal decision he made this morning," macron reacted coolly during a state visit to copenhagen. Hulot is a free man: "I respect his freedom."He wants to continue to rely on hulot’s commitment in the future.
As a symbolic victory, hulot was able to chalk up the fact that the government completely abandoned the planned major airport near nantes in western france. Philippe announced he would make proposals to macron in the coming days for the composition of the government. Culture minister francoise nyssen (67), who came under pressure following revelations about unauthorized renovations to the publishing house she used to run, is also considered to be in trouble.
Government spokesman benjamin griveaux regretted hulot’s move. "I had preferred his remaining.". Long-term work is needed in this area, he says, and changes cannot be achieved within a year.
Hulot says he did not inform macron or philippe in advance of his decision. "I hope that my departure will trigger a profound introspection of our society about the reality of our world"."He pointed to pressing environmental problems – the planet was threatening to turn into an oven. "I don’t want to lie to myself anymore."
He had been isolated in the government and had experienced an "accumulation of exchanges". "We have started to reduce the use of pesticides"?"The answer is no. The last draw was a meeting with managers on monday at macron’s office, which was also attended by an uninvited lobby representative. "Who has the power, who governs?" Asked the tense-looking hulot.
Hulot’s decision is another blow for macron. The 40-year-old had proposed a far-reaching EU reform just under a year ago, but it has not yet shown the desired results due to blockades in the european union. In the summer, the affair about a former bodyguard of macron had shaken the elysee palace. Macron has so far also been keen to show himself as a global environmentalist. This is how he had organized a rough climate summit in the french capital last december.
Hulot again called nuclear power an "economically and technically useless madness. So far, more than 70 percent of french electricity production comes from the country’s nuclear park. Paris is having a hard time with an energy turnaround, so the operator EDF is preparing to keep the controversial nuclear power plant fessenheim near the german border running until the end of 2019 – and thus longer than originally planned.
The environmental organization greenpeace called hulot’s resignation not surprising. He stands for a negative balance and for the weakness of introduced measures. The german green european politician sven giegold commented: "hulot had individual successes, but an ecological modernization of the french economy has been blocked by president macron."The head of the greenpeace parliamentary group, anton hofreiter, called the resignation "bad news for environmental policy in europe".
Hulot is known to the french as a former TV presenter. Under macron’s predecessor in office, francois hollande, he was a special envoy for the protection of the planet from 2012 to 2016. His official title is currently: "minister of state, minister of ecological and solidarity transition."