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The lead French EU election candidates have expressed conflicting views on the European Green Deal during a debate in Angers. Valérie Hayer, representing President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party, defended the Green Deal by emphasizing the need to protect oceans, ban deep sea mining, and combat plastic pollution. She proposed moving away from fossil fuels towards renewables and nuclear power, as well as protecting oceans through a proposed ‘blue pact’. Her stance was challenged by Green MEP Marie Toussant, who accused other parties of obstructing the progress of the Green Deal. The far-right Rassemblement National party did not participate in the event, organized by an environmental think tank, but all parties present claimed to be committed to combating climate change, despite some conservative and right-leaning parties opposing the conditions of the Green Deal.

The European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, has faced opposition from some parties in France, despite calls for increased environmental protection and sustainability. The French candidates discussed their positions on the Deal during a debate at the University of Angers, with Hayer defending the initiative and advocating for a transition away from fossil fuels. However, Toussant criticized the lack of progress on the Green Deal, pointing out that many parties were impeding efforts to address climate change and promote social justice. The absence of the far-right Rassemblement National party from the event highlighted the differing views among political groups on environmental issues and the European Union’s climate goals.

The debate in Angers underscored the importance of environmental policies and sustainability in the upcoming European elections, as candidates from various parties presented their perspectives on the European Green Deal. Hayer’s support for the Deal and emphasis on protecting oceans and combatting plastic pollution aligned with Macron’s Renaissance party’s platform of addressing climate change through renewable energy and a ‘blue pact’. However, Toussant’s criticism of the lack of progress on the Green Deal and opposition from conservative and right-leaning parties highlighted the challenges facing efforts to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. Farmer protests across Europe have further drawn attention to the complexities and controversies surrounding environmental policies and climate goals in the EU.

The conflicting views among the French EU election candidates on the European Green Deal reflect broader debates within the European Union regarding environmental policies and sustainability goals. While some parties, such as Macron’s Renaissance party, have expressed support for the Green Deal and proposed measures to transition towards renewable energy and protect oceans, others have raised concerns about the feasibility and impact of the proposed initiatives. The involvement of environmental think tanks and civil society organizations in organizing debates and discussions on the Green Deal highlights the role of public engagement in shaping environmental policies and climate action at the European level.

Ultimately, the debate over the European Green Deal in Angers highlighted the complexities and challenges facing efforts to address climate change and promote sustainability in the EU. While some French candidates have expressed strong support for the Green Deal and advocated for ambitious measures to combat climate change, others have raised doubts about the effectiveness of the proposed initiatives and expressed opposition to certain conditions laid out in the Deal. As the EU strives to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, it is clear that debates and disagreements over environmental policies will continue to shape political discourse and decision-making at the national and European levels, underscoring the need for informed and inclusive discussions on how best to address the pressing challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.

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