French to draw attention to environmental concerns in upcoming presidential elections
While in the lead up to the French presidential campaign environmental questions stay in the shadow of major themes like national safety, emigration policy, outcome of economical crisis, the people of the France are sending politicians a clear message – it is also important. Ninety-two per cent of French people define environmental protection as one of the major concerns of their everyday life, “TNS Sofres-Ecover” survey shows.
In support of these concerns, many people have adopted more environmentally-responsible behavior, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they are ready to do more: turning electronic devices on stand by (73 per cent); using more environmentally-friendly cleaning products (62 per cent); putting on additional clothing and turning down the heat (50 per cent); cultivating vegetables (41 per cent) and eating less meat (37 per cent), and possibly using a bike instead of car (35 per cent).
The survey also revealed just how green this year’s presidential candidates are in the eyes of electors. Respondents were asked to place each candidate in the following categories:
· 100 % green: Eva Joly (71 per cent);
· Friend of nature: Eva Joly (41 per cent); François Bayrou (16 per cent);
· Green: Eva Joly (28 per cent), François Hollande (17 per cent); Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (10 per cent)
· Green when it’s necessary: François Hollande (20 per cent); Eva Joly (20 per cent); Nicolas Sarkozy (17 per cent); François Bayrou (13 per cent),
· ”Green washer”: Nicolas Sarkozy (23 per cent); François Hollande (21 per cent); Eva Joly (17 per cent)
· The Anti-green : Marine Le Pen (28 per cent); Nicolas Sarkozy (17 per cent); Jean-Luc Mélenchon (14 per cent)
Based on the results of this survey it looks like the winner of the presidential elections should be Eva Joly, Politian for French Green Party, however, other surveys show a totally different situation. While Socialist party candidate François Hollande and conservative leader and current president Nicolas Sarkozy are considering most likely candidates to win the first election tour, Eva Joly remains unpopular.
With the help of “Le Monde” let’s look to candidates opinion on some main environmental questions.
One of the main discussions in that field is about the future of nuclear energetic in France, and here you can see all variety proposals from the most radical like Poutou Philipe, who is for “abandonment of nuclear power within ten years” to pro-nuclear opinions like Nicolas Sarkozy, who thinks that nuclear energy grants energy independence. Francois Hollande has committed to reducing the share of nuclear electricity from 75 per cent to 50 per cent by 2025.
The question of fossil fuel raises less debate. According to “Le Monde”, all candidates, except Marine Le Pen , are favorable to “reorient” the subsidies to renewables. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan states, however, that such transfer should not penalize the power purchase of the poorest households.
All candidates – with the exception of Philip Poutou – will support the European Commission to submit the airline international effort to fight against climate change. Since January 1, planes that take off or land in the EU must pay the equivalent of 15% of their emissions of greenhouse gases.
And the questions related to health and food quality looks less controversial in France. The French are wary of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); according to “Le Monde”, candidates are like them, and decided almost unanimously in favor of continued prohibition of transgenic plants in France.
Also, a majority of candidates are willing to prioritize the target of the Grenelle Environment Forum to halve pesticides use “if possible” by 2018. Among them, Francois Bayrou agrees with that only if the measure will be adopted “at European level”.
This year’s presidential election is the next presidential election will be held on 22 April and 6 May 2012.