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The climate referendum faces multiple obstacles

Consult the French by referendum on the climate, the risky bet of Emmanuel Macron takes shape, Wednesday, January 20, with the presentation in the Council of Ministers of the bill aiming to include in the Constitution the protection of the environment. Even before the presentation of the 65 measures resulting from the citizens’ convention for the climate, the majority hopes to establish a strong first symbol. But by going into the field of the fundamental law, Emmanuel Macron also relaunches the showdown initiated with the senatorial right during the constitutional reform, now abandoned. Before being submitted for the approval of the French, this text will indeed have to be voted in the same terms by the National Assembly and the Senate. All within a constrained schedule, between the end of the five-year term and a health emergency.

Admittedly, the tone has changed since the summer of 2018, when the Luxembourg Palace was slowing down in the face of a broad reform in three parts (organic, ordinary, constitutional). At the time, Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, had proposed to include in Article 1 of the Constitution the imperative to fight against climate change. More than two years have passed and President Les Républicains (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, does not immediately close the door. “We will examine in an open and positive manner the text that will be proposed to us”, he assured, Sunday, January 17, in “Le Grand Rendez-Vous Europe 1-CNews-The echoes “.

Read also The government wants to include environmental protection in the Constitution

Without forgetting to set its conditions: to include the principle of environmental protection, of course, but “At the same level as other fundamental freedoms, such as equality between men and women, the freedom to undertake”. The crux of the debate will be on the words chosen, in particular on the wording that Emmanuel Macron wishes to introduce in article 1: “The Republic guarantees the preservation of biodiversity and the environment, and the fight against climate change. “ A repeat to the word close to the proposal of the citizens’ convention, in particular of the term “Guarantees”, which offers, according to the Head of State, “Strong legal consequences”. The President of the Senate paved the way for amendments to “Find the best balance”, he warned.

Less restrictive formulation

Legally, the verb is important – “Guarantees”, “Favors”, “Acts” There has thus been a succession in the previous lives of the text within the constitutional reform presented in 2018. “The term” guarantees “, in the Senate, it does not pass”, warns the president of the centrist group, Hervé Marseille, fearing “A judicialization with a whole bunch of associations, individuals, who will seize the Constitutional Council at all costs, saying that each project will harm the environment or biodiversity. What is consensual is the formulation found at the time by Nicolas Hulot, “Favors”. “

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