Lelievre said it was more important for people, for the climate, for biodiversity, for food.
But the turnout was low, with only 40% of French voters voting.
Greens MP Yannick Jadot hailed the victory, saying that environment and solidarity were the driving force behind the vote. He said he hoped President Emmanuel Macron would have understood the message.
The vote was indeed a blow to President Macron, who risks being re-elected in two years. His young centrist party Republic on the Move has not yet succeeded in establishing itself locally. Critics say Macron has failed to deliver on its environmental promises, including tackling climate change.
Macron pledged nearly $ 17 billion in new climate finance on Monday. He should also reshape his cabinet in the coming days. This could include the overthrow of his People’s Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, who won one of the few government victories when he was elected mayor of the northern city of Le Havre.
In Paris, the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo won by a large margin, with the support of the Greens. Hidalgo’s efforts to make the capital bike and pedestrian friendly have been divisive – but it seems to have paid off.
The far-right French party of the National Rally has won a major victory, gaining control of the city of Perpignan in the south of the country.