Who’s the greener candidate?

The candidates’ programmes on ecology and the environment focus on three main points : the future of Nuclear Energy, Climate Change and Renewable Energy.

  • Nuclear Energy

Most candidates are in favour of transitioning from nuclear to renewable energy.. Emmanuel Macron believes that fossil fuels and the nuclear are still relevant today but he supports a slow transition away from French dependence on nuclear energy, and contest that today, 75% of the country electricity comes from there. A decision in line with the Paris Agreement. However, he did not mention closing down factories. He is strongly opposed to the use of gas shale and offshore drillings.

Benoit Hamon, supported by the former Green candidate Yannick Jadot, called for a gradual transition and total exit from nuclear energy in 2050.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants to completely close down the nuclear industry. However, Francois Fillon still believes that nuclear energy is relevant in France and that it should be preserved as is.

  • Climate change

The candidates all believe in a new strategy regarding climate change.

Paris-Agreement-on-climate-change
© COP21


Jean-Luc Mélenchon
believes in planning the future of energy in the country and how we will transition from what we have today to a more respectful production, that is in line with the Paris Agreement. He insists that climate change is an emergency for the country.  Francois Fillon wants to reform the European Carbon Market, or EU Emissions Trading System, and agree on a higher price limit for CO2 emissions. The limit will allow a more competitive market for renewable energy and encourage industries to shift to less harmful energy. 

  • Renewable energy sources

The issue of renewable energy goes hand in hand with climate change as mentioned above. For Benoit Hamon, renewable energies, establishing a tax for “greener” public transportation systems. He believes in the development of renewables, and universal income: the candidate has carried out his program by wishing to change paradigm. The whole is financed by an ecological tax, notably a progressive carbon tax.

Francois Fillon highlights that the climate change issue can be solved by focusing on nuclear and renewable energies.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon believes that private interests and short-term strategies are preventing the country from moving forward with new energies.

Marine Le Pen agrees with the other candidates on said issue. She still strongly believes in fossil fuels and think that renewable energies should represent the majority of French energetic production. She wants to open the access to the French citizens by allowing loans from the bank, especially to those working in the agriculture industry. The idea would be to make it easier for them to incorporate greener energies in their exploitation.

In addition,

Emmanuel Macron also wants to close down the last coal plants but has promised that he will establish an agency to help the employees of the coal plants.

Marine Le Pen  believes that fighting against free trade would also help the environment. She defends protectionism and believes that by keeping the industrial production within the French borders, we can preserve the environment and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. She wants to stop the production of gas shale.

© Guillaume Souvant / AFP

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