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The deputies vote for the inclusion of the climate in the Constitution, before a possible referendum

By a broad vote, the National Assembly approved this Tuesday, March 16, the inclusion of the climate in the Constitution, before the Senate with a right-wing majority seized in May on this subject on which Emmanuel Macron wants a referendum. The deputies approved at first reading this draft constitutional revision by 391 votes in favor, those of the majority and part of the left, 47 against and 115 abstentions.

A handful of LREM and MoDem criticized this text, putting the environment in competition with the freedom to undertake in particular. The oppositions sometimes perceive it as “Symbolic”, sometimes like a “Coup de com ‘” the Head of State, “Camouflaging renouncements” ecological.

“We are heading towards the referendum promised by the President of the Republic”, welcomed for his part the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti after the election, while parliamentarians doubt his organization.

Following the recommendations of the Citizen’s Convention on the Climate, it is a question of engraving in Article 1 of the Basic Law that France “Guarantees the preservation of the environment and biological diversity and the fight against climate change”.

Right abstention

The Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili greeted on Twitter “A major advance”. The Minister carries in parallel the vast bill “Climate and resilience” and its battery of measures on housing or advertising, also resulting from the Citizens’ Convention.

The Socialists and Communists supported the constitutional text, even if they would have liked to include a principle of ” no backwards step “ in environmental matters. Conversely, the Insoumis castigate “A green pastille that Emmanuel Macron intends to put in the Constitution” and spoke out against a “Useless project”.

“We were betrayed”: four participants in the climate convention take stock

The LR elected representatives overwhelmingly abstained, 20 of them voting against “A supreme environmental standard” and “A government of judges behind”.

“The right which has always been at the rendezvous of ecology is bitter”, said their speaker Julien Aubert, who does not want to prevent a consultation of the French in the Gaullist tradition.

During the debates last week, none of the 400 or so amendments by the deputies, to go further or on the contrary slow down, was adopted.

“Roman tortoise”

Socialist Gérard Leseul denounced “A blocked and atrophied discussion”, LR evoking a majority advancing by “Roman turtle”. But Eric Dupond-Moretti insists that “The debate was complete” and insists: “We are proud of this founding text”.

The president of RN Marine Le Pen, who also intends to invest in this ecological field with a view to the presidential election, presented to the press her counter-project for consulting the French, with 15 questions from nuclear to wind turbines.

There is no need to modify Article 1 of the Constitution for RN deputies, while the Environmental Charter is mentioned in the Preamble of the Basic Law. But MarineLe Pen did not defend his positions in the hemicycle, which the minister pinned.

Jean-Marc Jancovici: “There is a risk that democracy will not survive the end of fossil fuels”

The organization of a referendum requires the prior agreement of the National Assembly and the Senate on the same text. The environmentalist and ex-LREM deputy Matthieu Orphelin kept asking the Minister of Justice if he had already started discussions with the Senate to save time and not compromise the organization of a referendum under this five-year term .

However, the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher (LR) warned the executive against any temptation to “Make a hit”. In this battle of words on article 1 of the Constitution, he favors the verb ” to act “ for the preservation of the environment, rather than ” to guarantee “.

Without success, the right at the Palais-Bourbon has already worked to change this term. Beyond, deputies of all stripes have pushed a string of subjects, from retreats to local traditions through security. Even what was voted in 2018 during the failed attempt to reform institutions has not been validated.

The deputies have repeatedly rebelled against this constitutional revision which reduces the Assembly to “A recording room”, after François-Michel Lambert (Freedoms and Territories).

“The Citizens’ Convention is not the Sacred College of the Vatican, the filtered it’s us “, criticized Julien Aubert on the right.

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