A “European regulatory break” on environmental standards… Emmanuel Macron’s call, slipped this Thursday into his speech presenting his strategy to accelerate the reindustrialization of France, caused environmentalists to jump. Like MEP David Cormand. “The champion of the Earth is back,” he quips on Twitter, referring to this honorary title awarded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to Emmanuel Macron in September 2018.
“A historical misinterpretation”?
“The French are asking for a break on the implementation of the pension reform … Macron offers them a break on ecology”, protests for her part the head of EELV Marine Tondelier. On his side, Mary Toussaint, an environmental MEP like David Cormand, denounces “a historical misinterpretation, an ecological betrayal”. “When the water we drink, the food we eat, or the ground we walk on has become toxic; that the climate is warming up, that biodiversity is dying, and that water is running out due to the race for growth that Emmanuel Macron is chasing, this is absolutely not the time to take a break, ”she believes. near 20 minutes.
The Elysée invites us to recontextualize
For its part, the Elysée invites us to recontextualize the words of the President of the Republic, insisting on the fact that he has not asked for either a suspension or a moratorium and even less a repeal “of the current standards under discussion” . Clearly, Emmanuel Macron believes that the European Union has, to date, done “more than all the neighbors” and that it now “needs stability”. “We are ahead, in regulatory terms, of the Americans, the Chinese or any other power in the world,” said the head of state.
“Now we have to execute. We must not make new changes to the rules, because we will lose all the players, ”he further pleaded. Otherwise the “risk” is “to be the highest bidder in terms of regulation and the lowest bidder in terms of funding”.
“The EU not at the forefront of everything”
Even once argued, Emmanuel Macron’s proposal is no more acceptable for Marie Toussaint. “It is not true that the EU is at the forefront of all environmental issues, she already believes. The MEP takes the example of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyls), these very resistant pollutants [au point d’être qualifiés d’éternels]. The United States has made good progress on banning a number of these toxic substances emitted by industries, she said. Probably not enough. But we are behind in Europe on this subject. »
Above all, “even in areas where we are ahead, it is illusory to believe that we will be ahead for a long time”, adds Marie Toussaint, referring this time to Roland Lescure’s proposal on franceinfo Thursday evening. Bouncing back to Emmanuel Macron’s proposal, the Minister Delegate for Industry wanted this environmental break to last five years. “Undoubtedly, we would then find ourselves lagging behind all the major world economic powers and with an industry then much less prepared to respond to a world which must comply with the imperatives posed by climate change and the overcoming of planetary limits. Turning your back on environmentalism today is sure to lose competitiveness tomorrow. »
Worrying in the perspective of the Green Deal?
Marie Toussaint then struggles to understand the timing of Emmanuel Macron’s proposal. “Is this a way to test opinion on the issue? she asks herself. “The most worrying thing is that the Green Deal is being played out in parallel, a revision of 50 European directives and which must generate new green standards for Europe with a view to aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, she continues. A number of these texts have not yet been adopted. »
This is the case, for example, of the REACH filea European regulation that regulates the manufacture and use of chemical substances within the EU and that several NGOs iinvite to revise urgently to erase the current flaws. ” But Thierry Breton [commissaire européen en charge de la politique industrielle] is fighting against, deplores Marie Toussaint. This pause desired by the Head of State is one more signal of the unwillingness, in the highest political spheres, to reform the industry on all these toxic and chemical products which pollute our environments. »