The National Assembly, dominated by the centrist party of Mr. Macron, La République en Marche, proposed to add that France “would guarantee the protection of the environment and biological diversity, and fight against climate change”.
But members of the Senate – which is controlled by a right-wing party, The Republicans – objected to the word “guarantee,” which they said suggested that environmental concerns would take precedence over other constitutional principles such as freedom. business. Bruno Retailleau, leader of the Republicans in the Senate, denounced a formulation which, according to him, risked introducing “the virus of the decline in growth into our Constitution”.
The Senate proposed a new version of the amendment, committing France to “take measures to protect the environment”, but the National Assembly largely stuck to its wording. And after a second rejection by the Senate on Monday, Mr. Castex announced the end of the legislative process.
Climate activists and environmental politicians dismissed the argument over the wording of the amendment as a simple publicity stunt and said the government never tried to compromise on the amendment.
“It was easy to see, it was acting for months,” said Matthieu Orphelin, a lawmaker who left Mr Macron’s party in 2019 and then joined the green and left forces.
An environmental group, “Our Ecological Constitution,” issued a statement calling it “constitutional reform that has been hijacked and undermined by political maneuvering from the start.”