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French ex-environment minister backs new ecology pact

media Nicolas Hulot on France 2's 'political programme,' 22 November 2018. Bertrand GUAY / AFP

A group of NGO's and trade unions presented on Tuesday a new pact for ecology and society, in a bid to address global warming and social inequality. France's former environment minister Nicolas Hulot has thrown his weight behind the pact.

"This coalition" of 19 environmental organisations and unions "wants to make issues relating to the environment and society indissoluble," the former environment minister told Le Monde newspaper Tuesday, in conjunction with Laurent Berger, the secretary general of France's main trade union.

Their new pact includes 66 proposals for fighting catastrophic climate change, curbing the erosion of biodiversity, while at the same time improving the lives of ordinary citizens.

"There are two important things. First of all, we need to be able to separate investments from EU criteria," comments Hulot, suggesting that public investment into sustainable energy projects should not be subjected to the EU's tight budget rule of three per cent.

"Moreover, what is required is a "big bang" reform in tax because the current system is unfair, and the effort is not equally shared," he said.

The finance ministry "should forget about allocating the fuel tax in the national budget," Hulot added, stating that the "profits from this tax should be used for social gain."

The former environment minister resigned last August over dissatisfaction with the government's direction. 

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