As heads of state gather at the world’s sick bed for the UN General Assembly on Climate Change in New York, President Macron is eagerly awaited for his leadership.
Hyperactive around the Amazonia forest fires during the G7 summit, the French President wishes to continue to focus on this crucial area for the planet, and which concerns France directly, via the French department of Guyana.
But Macron, a centrist leader, who was the architect of the Renew Europe group for the last European elections, cannot convince everyone on the subject. Starting with his own camp.
In the European Parliament, the Greens and the far left proposed to vote on a resolution on the Amazon during the last parliamentary session. However, the initiative failed, partly because of the lack of support from the Renew group. Indeed, the radical left, the Greens, the Social Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favour of the project, and the support of the centrist group could have made it pass, knowing that, on the contrary, the right as a whole was voting against it. The draft resolution failed with 192 votes in favour and 228 against.
On twitter, Pascal Canfin, head of the Envi Committee, explained that he wanted to “work on a draft directive to stop imported deforestation, which will have much more impact than a resolution without written force of law in two days”.
On the other hand, Pascal Durand, former members of the Greens and now with Renew, voted in favour.
“We also observed further splits within other national parties belonging to Renew Europe, such as Ciudadanos and the British Liberal Democrats, showing that there is still lack of consensus among the centrist ranks on how to address the issue of the Amazon forest conservation. More generally, this is another indication that the newly formed EP political groups still have work to do to build internal consensus, if at all possible” underlines the website VoteWatch.
The issue of where Renew stands on environmental issues is in particular a big question mark, as the centrist group gather very different political stances, from very liberal German FDP to Nordic centrist who have strong positions on the economy, rather than the environment.