The incumbent French President, Emmanuel Macron, faces a mortal threat to his presidency with his populist rival Marine Le Pen, the La Republique En Marche leader, deciding to go all-in with his eco-friendly agenda in hopes of winning over the hostile leftists.
Le Pen has traditionally been much less enthusiastic in regards to green energy when compared to other presidential candidates. Macron is now reportedly betting that this could be the main factor that earns him a second term on the Elysee.
According to a report in Le Monde, the current French president emphasized his Green New Deal-style politics at a summit on Saturday, and claimed that he will transform France into a “great environmental nation”.
“We have been twice as fast as the previous two five-year periods in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Macron declared. “We have reduced them by 12% in five years.”
“But what the IPCC has told us again is that it's not enough, we have to go twice as fast,” he said. “You know what? We will do it.”
“The choice today is clear,” the President is reported as declaring. “The far-right is a climate-skeptic project, a project that wants to leave Europe's climate ambitions, that wants to destroy windmills.”
Macron's reference to windmills is likely a nod to Le Pen's wish to steer France away from wind farms. The right-wing populist aiming to become France's first woman president, stated that she will put a moratorium on the construction of new wind farms and possibly even take away existing wind farms.
The incumbent Macron appears to be betting on a Le Pen policy that is highly unpopular among French left-wingers, who are generally reluctant to vote for him even if just for the sake of keeping Le Pen out of the political arena.
Particularly, those who chose the most successful left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Lenchon, have reported having difficulty deciding which candidate they should vote for between Macron and Le Pen.
“It's like choosing between the plague and cholera,” said one leftist teenager according to an POLITICO report.
However, it's not certain if Macron's initiatives will be successful and are causing fears to rise throughout all of the European Union that they could be in the process of battling an Eurosceptic and strongly nationalist France, and might also witness voters turning towards the right in the future.
“Is it inconceivable that you could have a president of France that is an economic nationalist?” Ireland's progressive deputy PM (Tanaiste) Leo Varadkar asked. “It is not.”
“I often worry sometimes that maybe there is a certain trajectory we are yet to follow,” he declared there was a chance that Ireland could change to the right in the next decade. “There might be a backlash against individual liberty, against international trade agreements.”