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French President Macron eyes green post-Covid recovery

© Présidence de la République, Soazig de la Moissonnière

“In the future, we have to be more environmentally-minded so that we can protect the climate.”

A green recovery will be a key principle in France’s bid to address the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a Sunday televised address to the nation.

Macron has lifted most of France’s remaining coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including for restaurants and schools, and said he would focus on rebuilding the economy.

In his speech given at the Élysée Palace, he said: “There is a decade that lies ahead of us. We need to set our course for those ten years to ensure our independence, so that we can live happily in our country and live better.

“With the epidemic, the global economy has come to a standstill. So, we need to rebuild our economy that will be strong, sovereign, inclusive and one that will protect the environment.

“We will work with everyone to rebuild our economy. We have to create new jobs by investing in our national independence.

Although Marcon didn’t go into full details about his post-Covid green recovery plans, he said: “In the future, we have to be more environmentally-minded so that we can protect the climate. We have to have transport systems that pollute less and ensure energy efficiency and thermal efficiency around buildings. We need to work with more green industries.”

He also said it was necessary to avoid layoffs and create new jobs by investing in France’s technological, digital, industrial and agricultural independence.

Marcon’s plans ties in with the French government’s aims for an “ecological transition” to a low-carbon economy.

In a Tweet, Brune Poirson (@brunepoirson) , Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, said: “The ecological  transition will be at the heart of the reconstruction project led by the President Macron. This is one of the keys to safeguarding our social model, regaining our independence and guaranteeing the youngest generations a sustainable and sustainable future.”

Macron’s focus on a post-Covid green recovery ties in with Germany’s green plans. The German government recently agreed on a long-term strategy for increasing production and use of hydrogen as part of a plan to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

While hydrogen is currently produced almost exclusively from fossil fuels, the government wants to encourage its production from excess electricity generated by renewable energy sources.

Experts say this so-called green hydrogen could help smooth out the problem of solar and wind power’s fluctuating supply, and replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that require high temperatures such as steel making.

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