The draft constitutional revision on the climate, on which Emmanuel Macron wants a referendum, appears to be deadlocked: the right-wing majority Senate adopted at second reading, Monday, July 5, a formulation that still excludes the term “Guarantees” held by the executive.
The rewritten text was voted by 210 votes to 127 and 5 abstentions. The upper assembly has moved on the margins from the first reading. It now proposes the formulation according to which 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”.
The Senate thus substitutes the term “Acts” at the end “Preserve”, which he had retained at first reading. But we are still far from the account compared to the last proposal of the National Assembly, according to which the French Republic “Guarantees the preservation of the environment and biological diversity and acts against climate change”.
The Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, regretted that the Senate did not seize ” outstretched hand “ by the deputies. “You thus close the possibility for the French to express themselves on the subject of primary importance which is the ecological future of our country”, he said.
Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili has stepped up to the plate, believing that “Obviously the senators are against the ecological transition”. “They emptied a good part of the climate resilience bill of its substance. And there, they prevent, since this is what happens, they prevent the referendum that we are waiting for to recreate a great debate on this question which is beyond us ”, she asserted. She blasted “Climate-inactive”, “Climate-resigned” and called Gérard Larcher to “Find solutions to succeed”. “It would be shameful for the political class and shameful for the senators if we did not manage to arrive at a referendum at the end of the year”.
The organization of a referendum requires the prior agreement of deputies and senators on the same text. The deputies had also modified at the margin the initial proposal of the executive which followed the recommendations of the citizens’ convention on the climate (CCC). A step towards the Senate for the presidential majority, considered ” accessory “ by Philippe Bas (Les Républicains, LR).
“By refusing the referendum for the climate, the senatorial right shows its political sectarianism, its fear of popular expression and its incomprehension of climate issues”, tweeted the leader of the Senators Rally of Democrats, Progressives and Independents (RDPI) majority La République en Marche, François Patriat.
“The Senate will prevent us” to organize a referendum before the end of the five-year term, had already regretted Monday morning the spokesman of the government, Gabriel Attal, on France Inter. He had questioned “A very strong climate-skeptic line” within the Republicans.
The left sent government back to back and senatorial right
For his part, the LR chairman of the Senate Law Commission, François-Noël Buffet, was moved by “Extremely disagreeable remarks with regard to the Senate” who “Would block the system”. “Wanting to defend what is indefensible constitutes a misstep, even a fault”, he added.
The left sent government back to back and the senatorial right. Socialist Eric Kerrouche said his feeling of being “Locked in a time loop” and lambasted “Pharisees’ debates where everyone pretends to seek a compromise in a lying poker game”. “Here we are stuck in a purely semantic debate (…) as part of a shuttle that could prove to be eternal ”, lamented the president of the communist, republican, citizen and environmentalist group (CRCE) with a communist majority, Eliane Assassi.
For the ecologist Guy Benarroche, “The funeral” was “Predictable, prepared, premeditated”. As this is a constitutional text, the parliamentary shuttle between the two chambers can in principle continue as long as necessary.