“We are ahead, in regulatory terms, of the Americans, the Chinese and of any other power in the world,’ said Macron in a speech at the Élysée. ‘We must not make any new changes to the rules, because we will lose all the [industrial] players,” he continued…
“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.
The most rational thing in that article was that they are building more nuclear reactors. That is great. Both sides get exactly what they want. That is how you get the far right nuts to move to the left. Give them clean energy.
And yet it is not France’s left that has benefited from the popular rebellion. It is the far right.
Recent polls showed that if last year’s head-to-head presidential election were held now, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Rassemblement National, would beat Mr. Macron handily, 55 to 45 percent.
They starting moving right “because they heard there was a secret ‘Tofu & Kale’ convention on the right, and they couldn’t resist the temptation of a vegan feast! Who knew healthy eating could sway political beliefs? Keep an eye out for a kale-storm of political transformations!”
Macron is a president who has the power to decide the fate of tens or even hundreds of millions of people (EU-wide). I wonder what newspapers around the world would write if another president had made that decision:
“In January 2021, Paulette Hourcadet, 64 years old, requested permission from Emmanuel Macron to marry her companion who died in late 2020. After several reminders, the President of the Republic finally authorized this union in May and the ceremony should take place soon.”
France has already achieved relatively low CO2 emissions compared to most of its European neighbors. Perhaps it is best for France to hold onto its successes, and let other countries catch up?
A good comparison in the electric power sector is the number of grams of CO2 emitted per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. From the following link, France is near the best performer in the EU by this measure.
CO2 intensity, grams per kwh, 2021
If I were to put the United States on this list, it would rank the same as Germany at 402 grams/kwh. Sweden achieves its ultra-low CO2 emissions by having large hydroelectric and nuclear power sectors. Sweden has smaller amounts of wind and biomass that also contribute to its clean electricity.
Why is it that Germany’s Energiewende green energy program is so often described as a success, while Germany is actually a rather dirty polluter by burning lots of coal and lignite? Countries like Sweden and France should be the examples that other European nations follow.
Because the coalition parties (SPD, Grün) cannot deny their decisions, which are supported and praised every day in the press and on TV.
And because I can’t find a single word of praise for the German government’s initiatives in the international press I read, I think the only ones praising their decisions are the coalition parties. It’s true that I don’t read the Slovenian or Latvian press, so I can’t exclude positive opinions that appear in the media of other European countries.
He also called last week for a “pause” on EU environmental regulations, arguing the bloc of 27 already imposes tougher rules than its competitors. The comments prompted immediate criticism from French and European Green politicians. Macron later insisted he was sticking to his climate-related commitments, including all policies aimed at making the EU reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, but said, "Let’s not add more.”
That one was much more connected to reality the drivel in the Spectator. Salient quotes from your second article:
Macron later insisted he was sticking to his climate-related commitments, including all policies aimed at making the EU reaching carbon neutrality by 2050…
…It follows a series of incentives announced by Macron last week to support innovative industries and transition towards greener technology. They include tax credits in fields like battery production, electric cars, hydrogen and wind power, as well as accelerating authorization for industrial projects.
Compare with the Spectator:
Is Macron finally taking on the cult of net zero?
The truth is that net zero has become a bourgeois cult, and their self-absorbed domineering has been tolerated for too long.
The answer is no, Macron is not taking on the cult of net zero. (And why the ad hominin? Does the Spectator think name calling makes them look smart?) Macron has always been a climate hawk. Emphasizing climate issues is in part how he beat Le Pen. If anything he has doubled down since then.
If you’ve been following the news in the past couple months, Macro has been very vocal about how US and Chinese subsidies for EVs and renewable energy will potentially hurt French industry. This speech was a continuation of that. Currently, there is debate in the European Parliament about a package of green measures including biodiversity measures, organic farming, banning PFAFs, etc.
Macron is saying that implementing many of those measures will make it harder for French industry to manufacture products like EVs and green energy production because French standards are already higher than in the US or China. In fact, this quote was included in the Spectator article:
‘We are ahead, in regulatory terms, of the Americans, the Chinese and of any other power in the world,’
That makes no sense in terms of climate, but it makes perfect sense if you understand he’s talking in the context of regulations in general.