President Emmanuel Macron. By, CC BY 4.0, Link. Image modified.

French President Macron Sells Out Climate Activists, Calls for a “Pause” in New Regulations

Essay by Eric Worrall

President Macron has chosen to dump climate activists in his desperate struggle to save his political skin from the rise of French Conservative Marine Le Pen.

Is Macron finally taking on the cult of net zero?

15 May 2023, 8:13am

Calling for a ‘pause’ of more EU environmental red tape, Macron said member states required stability if they were to attract future investment. 

A day later, the president doubled down on his remarks while on a visit to Europe’s leading steel producer in Dunkirk. ‘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.   

There was a reason Macron chose Dunkirk. It is Marine Le Pen territory, a region where unemployment is at 9 per cent, 2 per cent more than the national average. ‘The Dunkirk basin has lost 6,000 industrial jobs in 20 years,’ acknowledged the president. ‘We will recreate 16,000 by 2030.’ 

But from the left there has been only rage. ‘Absolutely irresponsible’ cried the Green MP Sandrine Rousseau, who said it wasn’t fewer environmental regulations that were needed: ‘On the contrary, we have to increase them.’ 

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This is a far cry from the days when Macron taunted President Trump for not being committed to the green cause with an offer to US climate scientists to relocate to France.

Macron is now desperate to distance himself from climate issues a little, to prevent more of his working class industrial belt supporters defecting to his rival Marine Le-Pen. France has been rent by widespread protests against pension reforms and cost of living rises. The situation in France is now so unstable, France has cancelled hosting the World Cup Soccer tournament in 2025, claiming they don’t have enough money to support the event – but more likely, Macron is worried football violence could escalate into a popular uprising against his heavy handed incompetence.

Politicians selling out climate activists will become more common, as the political value of climate activism as a campaign lever plummets. Support for climate policies mostly only works on left wing activists these days, so it is politically useless as a means to broaden your support base.

By contrast, other crisis like the fake AI crisis have stronger bipartisan appeal, which makes alternatives like the AI scare increasingly useful virtue signalling props.

Macron was an early mover when it came to talking up the AI scare.

The big question, what will President Macron do next? Will President Macron crawl to President Trump, and beg for an endorsement, to raise his credibility with right wing voters? Will he support more fossil fuel? Will he try an entirely new strategy, to deflect attention from his failures? Whatever happens, this is quite a fall, for a French President who promised to rule like a Roman God.

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Tom Halla
May 17, 2023 2:16 am

And Macron is not as far up the creek as the German Greens, who also oppose nuclear power. I think he may be worried about a Sri Lanka repeat.

William Howard
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 17, 2023 8:45 am

right but reality is catching up with them – destroying windmills to restart a coal plant –

May 17, 2023 2:35 am

The problem is the European Commission.

The whole edifice is corrupt. In the first place a Commissioner signs an oath to uphold the interests of the EU over and above their nation member state. The commissioners are all placepeople who are rewarded for favours and services rendered – eg Leon Brittan, Peter Mandelson, Neil Kinnock* (who fired the auditor for revealing the alarming scale of… corruption) and that unknown trade union person** Blair promoted – via arm-twisting and ear-stroking in Brussels – to Foreign Representative.

Only the commission can draft directives (laws) and Europarl rubber stamps them. Then it’s up to the members how they go about achieving it. To all intents and purposes it’s a Politburo.

‘On the contrary, we have to increase them.’ 

So Macron has a problem. Should the commission draft new directives and they [predictably] pass into law, he’ll have no choice. For my money, Brussels is Barking Central.

Populism – as any deviation from the political narratives is known – isn’t going to go away any time soon. If anything, it could well increase as the net zero policies of the EU are forced by the elites at the top onto the [low-information] people at the bottom.

Macron still has a pensions disaster on his hands. Maybe that’s what the factories are really for…..**

That’s the EUSSR

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 17, 2023 3:04 am

The commission is and is not the problem?

British politicians enjoy an elective dictatorship as things stand – who voted for net zero, mass illegal migration etc?

A MP cannot be recalled unless Mr Speaker chooses to start the process. We were promised recall after the expenses fiasco, then Parliament thought again… and said no. Not a chance.

 It’s only natural for them to seek similar positions in the EU. They are essentially cut from the same cloth.

They miss being able to blame the EU for….

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 17, 2023 5:14 am

The EU was used as a get out of jail card by politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists for any and all cock-ups. Even post Brexit we find our politicians in the shape of Bojo in this case don’t know their arse from their elbow. Vauxhall are not alone.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 19, 2023 12:40 am

I’ve always wondered how pols in member states conned their people into entering such an entity as the EU that has zero accountability to them. I get the purpose of facilitating trade originally, but given the history of government in 20th century Europe I’d be more skeptical of the project (with good reason as things have gone). Avoiding blame for unpopular edicts seems to be universal wrt politicians everywhere, but thanks for giving me more food for musing.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  strativarius
May 17, 2023 2:58 am

None of the member of the EU Commission is elected, they are delegated, and most if not all have risen nothing in the countries they come from. In contrast, they were unloved and never successfull in the jobs they had before in their political carrier.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 17, 2023 3:06 am

Ursula ‘broomsticks‘ von der Leyen is an excellent example.

Reply to  strativarius
May 17, 2023 6:13 am

She was trained as a gynecologist

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  wilpost
May 17, 2023 6:31 am

Back before affirmative action, being a doctor was an accomplishment.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  strativarius
May 17, 2023 3:42 am

Yes. Time for “Frexit.”

AGW is Not Science
May 17, 2023 3:37 am

I’ll believe this Leopard has changed his spots when he starts rolling back the Eco-Nazi regulations. He can start by abolishing EV mandates.

I suspect this call to put the brakes on the accelerating stupidity will last until he wins re-election, then his goose-stepping true self will emerge again.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 17, 2023 6:14 am

And wind, solar and heat pump and electric cook stove mandates

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 17, 2023 8:42 am

Macron didn’t say roll back. He’s saying they are turning up the heat too fast and the frogs (pun intended), that is, us proles, are starting to notice.

May 17, 2023 3:41 am

“The big question, what will President Macron do next? “

He’s going nuclear, his only option. He should have done it years ago, about the time he thought it was a good idea to shut down 50% of the reactors in France, moron.

There is so much hate for that man in France right now it wouldn’t surprise me if someone had a serious go at bumping him off.

Reply to  Alpha
May 17, 2023 6:17 am

The 50% shut down was a good idea before, but not now,
It is called doing a 180

I am so glad, Russia, Hungary, Egypt, China, etc, are doubling down on NUCLEAR
They will be the winners 20 years from now

Uncle Mort
May 17, 2023 4:29 am

“This is a far cry from the days when Macron taunted President Trump”

That’s another aspect of Macron’s incompetence – mistaunting.

May 17, 2023 5:54 am

According the link provided it is 2025 Rugby League World Cup (not soccer) that France withdrew from hosting due to financial issues. And now Australia is contemplating hosting the event.

2026 FIFA World Cup (soccer) will be hosted by Canada, Mexico and USA.

Reply to  javs
May 17, 2023 8:04 am

Logged on to say that, myself. It is a very big difference.
Asociation Football is the biggest sport in the world. Hosting is a great honour.
Rugby League is not even the most played form of rugby.

May 17, 2023 6:14 am

Now, now. Don’t knock it: this is just the beginning of the clash between scientific reality and sanctimonious virtual virtue!

As in the Brad Young song, reality is a bitch.

More Soylent Green!
May 17, 2023 6:30 am

The elites always tell us the US can learn a thing or two from the French, except when it’s something sensible.

May 17, 2023 6:55 am

… the political value of climate activism as a campaign lever plummets …..

You really identified the root cause amongst our vote smuckering politicians.

May 17, 2023 8:41 am

Warning! Warning! Macaroon! Temporary breach of dooming threshold ahead-
World set to ‘temporarily’ breach major climate threshold in next five years (
Increase environmental regulations immediately and cast the last of the virgins into the turbine blades.

May 17, 2023 8:47 am

The people are feeling the ‘Green’ negative influences on their lifestyle and reacting. As long as it was just virtue signaling they were OK with it. Macron knows their discontent and is doing what any politician does …. going with the flow.

Dodgy Geezer
May 17, 2023 9:30 am

As I recall, Roman Gods used to rape girls while disguised as swans, bulls or showers of gold.

Perhaps we’d better not go there…

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 17, 2023 2:47 pm

Was that on a bed where Obama spent the night?

Edward Katz
May 17, 2023 6:30 pm

I thought the next World Cup soccer tournament was scheduled for Canada, the US and Mexico in 2026. Regardless, like many world leaders, Macron is realizing that the various climate targets are largely unattainable without causing massive economic disruptions and consumer unrest which are likely to lead to the fall of governments, and his could easily be the first to be voted out.

May 17, 2023 8:01 pm

I applaud the author for calling out the AI hoax. The same tax farmer who rode the climate crisis to obtain billions for his electric car is now selling the AI threat and will soon reap billions to save us from the AI.

Reply to  ColinP
May 19, 2023 4:20 pm

I don’t understand why all the furor about AI… we have been bombarded with artificial intelligence from our politicians and others for decades.

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