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Macron pledges billions for climate after Greens make gains

French President Emmanuel Macron, who once declared “Make The Planet Great Again” but whose climate agenda got knocked off course by street protests, is under new pressure to fight climate change after the Green Party did well in Sunday’s local elections.

France’s Green party and its left-wing allies made significant gains in the second round of voting, capturing cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg and Besançon, said an AP report.

On Monday, Macron promised 15 billion euros ($16.7 billion) in new climate-related financing after meeting with a citizens’ group that he convened earlier this year in response to criticism that he wasn’t doing enough to battle climate change.

The citizens’ group gave him a new list of climate proposals drawn from an ambitious report it compiled, which includes recommendations on fighting CO2 emissions by weening the French off solo car rides and proposing alternatives such as electric cars, as well as capping the harmful effects of air travel.

Travel produces 30% of greenhouse gases in France.

The yellow vest economic justice protests that brought France to its knees for months in 2018 and 2019 knocked some of Macron’s green agenda off track as it was triggered by opposition to a new fuel tax that he planned to help fund the climate fight.

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