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French President Emmanuel Macron is looking to move on from the past weeks of angry protests over pension reform and turn his attention to the environmental crisis with a primetime address on Thursday night.
Macron’s primetime speech is intended to outline the country’s ambitious plan to transition to a low-carbon economy and lay out France’s view of the world as a modern leader in the fight against climate change. The goal is to move public discourse away from the debate over pension reform, which sparked sometimes violent protests across the country last month, and towards a more positive discussion of ways to fight global warming.
The speech will focus on the so-called “green transition,” Macron’s plan to make France an early adopter of low-carbon projects such as more efficient renewable energies, sustainable building practices, and modern smart-energy systems. The aim is to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, and to make France a model for how other nations can transition to a more eco-friendly economy.
Along with this vision for a greener French economy, Macron will also highlight the country’s importance as a leader in international environmental policy. France’s commitment to the Paris Climate Accords and its drive for an international climate treaty are among the topics Macron will discuss, as he urges other countries to join in.
Macron’s speech is expected to come the day before a major summit of world leaders convened by the United Nations to discuss global climate change. The event is being seen as a major test for world leaders to demonstrate their commitments to reducing global warming, and France is eager to show its leadership on the issue.
The French president hopes that his primetime address will put pressure on other leaders to take real action on the climate crisis, while at the same time allowing him to move away from the controversy over pension reform that blighted France in recent weeks. The speech should prove that the French government is still committed to its stated values, but will also set the stage for a broader discourse on why global climate action is essential.