Wake up to the scent of the Rose blossom #NetUCCEP

Final conclusion over the global agenda from Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg);

– In only thirteen years panic will overtake rational decisions. CCCRdg wish Emmanuel Macron and the new french power Govt the very best laying the last fertile ground to build this new anthropocentric society.

Finally France’s new Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot joined Emmanuel Macron’s team after declining offers from three previous governments. What challenges lie ahead for France’s popular environmentalist?

The environment was not high on the list of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign themes. So when the new French president poached big fish Nicholas Hulot, a popular environmentalist, to head his environment ministry, it was considered a major political coup. Many challenges, however, lie ahead for the feisty, 62-year old former TV host.

“When you read Emmanuel Macron, the new president’s, programme, you don’t see the words ‘ecology’ and ‘sustainable development’” Hulot said only days before he was appointed environment and social transition minister, a portfolio which also includes energy and transport. “He says it himself, that it’s not part of his makeup. I hope it will very, very quickly become part of his DNA.”

‘Herculean task’

Hulot must feel hopeful — he refused offers by three former presidents to join their governments — but he now faces the herculean task of pushing a number of major environmental issues at the head of France’s political agenda.

First on the list is climate change. On May 26th, Hulot and the French president will attend the G7 summit with other world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, who once described climate change as a hoax. Trump is expected to announce at the summit whether or not the United States will remain in the landmark #AccordDeParis signed in the French capital in December 2015.

Hulot advised France’s former president François Hollande on the marathon negotiations involved in the closure of the #ParisAgreement, which was considered one of the few successes of the Socialist president’s five years in office. As many as 195 countries signed the pact to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Hulot will now have to help meet those targets.

‘The thorny issue of nuclear power’

Another key, and potentially thorny, issue is nuclear power. Following in the previous government’s footsteps, the Macron’s new government has already pledged to reduce the country’s share of nuclear from 75% to 50% by 2025. Hulot, who has been criticised by some Greens as too tolerant, faces the delicate mission of steering France towards this goal.

“There have been many delays since 2012,” the head of World Wildlife Federation France Pascal Canfin told reporters. “The priority now isn’t about whether or not we will reach the 2025 goal anymore. It is about how to put in place a real transition towards renewable energy.”

Complications have already begun. Last week, Hulot announced the nuclear power reactor of Fessenheim, France’s oldest power station, would close after consultation. The plant on the border with Germany is located on a seismic fault line and has worried French, German and Swiss environmentalists for years. But closure of the plant, which employs hundreds of people, has met with fierce opposition (France’s nuclear park as a guarantor of the country’s energy independence and a source of cheap electricity. The commune of Fessenheim and unions have already appealing the closing).

A lynch-pin of France’s CO2 reduction efforts is renovating buildings in order to make them more energy efficient. The previous government set a goal of renovating 500,000 dwellings a year to 2017. That target has not yet been reached, and experts point out that more needs to be done to simplify the processes.

Controversial airport project

Another hot topic on Hulot’s plate is the contentious new Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport, near the western city of Nantes. Debate over whether or not to build the airport has pitted environmentalists and protesters against the government for years. Macron and his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe back the project, which Hulot used to oppose. It was this hot potato that forced Hulot’s decision not to join François Hollande’s government in 2016. Last June, a public vote on the issue was narrowly won by the project’s backers.

Two days after Hulot joined Macron’s cabinet, the government announced that it would appoint a mediator to study the feasibility of the airport project. “There is probably an option which will satisfy all parties,” Nicolas Hulot commented, non-committedly, on French television.

French farmers and players in the French agriculture and the food industry will also be scrutinising the new environment minister on Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise to create a high-level, multi-party debate on food and agriculture after the summer.

‘A path for action’

Hulot’s appointment was met with approval across the political spectrum and wider afield, and he himself appears to be embracing his new role. “Those who know me know that being a minister as such isn’t a goal in itself. …However, I have the feeling, without being absolutely sure, that this new political environment opens a path for action that I cannot ignore. I hope it will be the last fertile ground to build this anthropocentric society,” Hulot commented after his nomination.

It remains to be seen if the outspoken environmentalist will be comfortable in the constrictions of ministerial office.

“He thinks he will be able to change things all by himself,” former far-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon commented. “He thinks that if he has a good idea and that ‘I can defend it properly; everyone will agree with me’, but it doesn’t work like that.”

To which Hulot, who began his television career on an extreme sports nature show, might respond that harsh terrain and uncharted waters is something is he used to.

Environmentalist Nicolas Hulot – Bonne chance!

Source: FRANCE 24 · May 24, 2017

Grassroots energy collaboration invite – #Biofuel


Can I please ask you to have a think about groups in the your local area that may be interested in the Energy Forum outlined below.

It would be fantastic if you could come and contribute too.

There will be another event in Bristol in June and some people you know may find that more convenient from your area

I think you’ll be inspired by the effort to find common definitions of dirty energy and true sustainability across the disparate campaigns and to tackle fuel poverty through community energy schemes.


Dear Friends

Biofuelwatch is planning a series of day-long Grassroots Energy Collaboration workshops, bringing together campaigners against dirty extractive energy and fuel poverty with community renewable energy projects, to identify areas for collaboration and mutual support. The workshops will be in London, Bristol and Liverpool this spring and early summer, and we hope you can come to one.

We want to promote better networking and collaborating between groups fighting against dirty energy and fuel poverty, and for community-controlled renewable energy, in order to counter government and industry efforts to “divide and rule” and to play off different important goals against each other (e.g. arguing that we need more gas because nuclear power is dangerous, or more biomass instead of coal). The focus is specifically on the UK context, and on energy for heat and power rather than for transport.

Aims of the day are:

  • To facilitate collaboration and networking between grassroots groups and organisations campaigning against different forms of dirty energy and against fuel poverty, as well as those working on community renewable energy;
  • To identify shared principles and campaigning objectives and messages;
  • To identify scope for joint work or messaging, either between all or some participating groups.

The London workshop will be on Saturday 20th May at the Friends of the Earth Office, 1st Floor the Printworks, 139 Clapham Road, SW9 0HP 10am – 4.30pm.

See below for a draft agenda. Please register on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/grassroots-energy-collaboration-workshop-london-tickets-33853448576 if you’re coming, and contact us if you have any queries, comments or suggestions.

We will be sending out a document before the event with info on all the different projects and campaigns represented. If could send us a 100 word blurb on your project and current priorities, with a maximum of two web links, that would be fantastic.

Finally, we are not advertising this event publicly because we want to keep it relatively small and focussed, but if you know of any other groups or individuals who you think should be invited, please contact us and we’ll see if there is still space to invite them. There will be similar events in Bristol and Liverpool in early June – let us know if one of those would be more convenient for your group, or if you have suggestions of groups who should be invited.

Many thanks, and looking forward to seeing you in May.

Fran, Duncan and the Biofuelwatch team


  • Arrive from 10 – registration, tea, networking etc.
  • 10.30  Introductions – name go round.
  • 10.45   Setting the context: A brief overview of energy use and generation in the UK (e.g. how much comes from coal, from wind, etc) and of the UK Government’s “energy policy” (including their attack on wind and solar power, cuts to energy conservation and efficiency funding, subsidies for dirty energy). Then some discussion on this about people’s different perspectives, clarification and mapping of where we are.
  • 11.30   Short presentations by the different groups about their projects and campaigns, including instances of collaboration and where it has worked/not worked in the past. 4 minutes max each.
  • Get into groups of 4 people (ideally who don’t know each other), talk about what all that information raised for you, in preparation for the discussions in the afternoon.
  • 12.30 lunch
  • 1.30   Discussion session 1: Joint messages and principles: What are the joint themes and messages emerging from the different projects and campaigns presented earlier? Are there any controversial areas, i.e. demands made by campaigns not shared by others? Or any shared ‘enemies’ or barriers to change?
  • 2.15 Feedback. Identify actions to take away, people who need to talk to each other further.
  • 2.30 Break
  • 2.45 Discussion session 2: How much do different groups feel they would benefit and could contribute to joint campaigning and joint messaging? What options for effective collaboration do people see (having regard to different groups’ resources)?
  • 3.30 Feedback.  Identify actions to take away, people who need to talk to each other further.
  • 3.45 Conclusion/way forward: Discuss and aim to agree next steps (possible outcomes may or may not include collaborating on developing common energy policy principles, a follow-up meeting, follow-up email discussions, more regional networking, etc)
  • Prioritise actions identified before, what needs to happen first, put names to tasks, things we need to return to later.
  • 4.30 finish

— UK bioenergy campaigner, Biofuelwatch —