July 27, 2021

The executive renounces revising the Constitution to include the “preservation of the environment”, and its adoption by referendum

The Senate wanted to be more ambitious concerning the project of constitutional revision on the climate, the executive will not follow. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Tuesday July 6 that the executive was putting “An end to the constitutional review process” on the climate, concerning which Emmanuel Macron wanted a referendum after following the recommendations of the citizens’ convention for the climate.

The Senate, with a right-wing majority, adopted on Monday at second reading a wording different from that voted by the Assembly and supported by the government, around the inclusion in the Constitution in particular of the ” preservation of the environment “.

“Taking into account what article 89 of our Constitution provides, this vote unfortunately puts an end to the process of constitutional revision which we continue to believe was essential for our country”, the prime minister said during questions to the government in the Assembly.

Read also Climate in the Constitution: semantic battle and blockage in the Senate

Believing to have done ” a step “ towards the Senate by amending the text at the margin, Mr. Castex deplored that “This outstretched hand” does not have “Not entered” by the High Assembly on Monday. “It is deeply regrettable, but the fight continues”, he said after being arrested by the deputy La République en Marche (LRM) Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade.

Semantic battle

According to the last version approved by the Assembly, it was a question of registering that the French Republic “Guarantees the preservation of the environment and biological diversity and acts against climate change”. The Senate, for its part, proposed to write that the French Republic “Acts for the preservation of the environment and biological diversity and against climate change, under the conditions provided for by the environmental charter of 2004”.

As each camped on its positions, and even though the shuttle between the two chambers could have continued as long as necessary, the executive therefore chose on Tuesday to close the debate.

“The climate emergency is here, the risk is real”, said Mr. Castex on Tuesday, sharply criticizing those who “Refuse to see reality in the face” and others who “Favor an ideological, maximalist approach”. “At the same time, we make the choice of ambition and the choice of pragmatism, that is to say the choice of efficiency”, he defended.

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The World with AFP