July 8, 2024

350.org reacts to French national election results

Spokespeople available for interview on request

Paris, France. Today, the results of France’s national election, which has revived domestic democratic debate with the highest voting turnout in a legislative election since 1997, are in. The results show that the country’s left-wing coalition, the New Popular Front (NFP), is now the largest party in the French National Assembly. Despite scoring the highest gain in seats, the far-right National Rally (RN) party is only the third largest party, behind Macron’s centrist alliance. 

Fanny Petitbon, France Team Leader, at 350.org said:

“Against all odds, the left-wing coalition, supported by a massive citizen mobilization throughout the country, has succeeded in establishing itself as a real alternative to the far-right in less than a month. The hope generated by this new coalition must now be translated into concrete policies and measures to urgently address French people’s main concerns and pull the rug from under the Rassemblement National’s feet. This means improving access to quality employment, but also to decent and better insulated housing, adequate healthcare and less polluting mobility options, sustainable and healthy food that is affordable, and guaranteed reduced energy bills. This is possible and feasible. 

While 80% of French people consider that their country should strengthen its commitments to address the impacts of climate change, we call on the Nouveau Front Populaire coalition to stand firm on its climate ambition. Yesterday, Socialist Party’s First Secretary Olivier Faure, member of the NFP, said it was high time to tax the super-rich, and we will hold him to his word. 

Despite the fragmented nature of the National Assembly which will require negotiation and compromise to pass legislation, it is critical to vote as soon as possible a wealth tax on billionaires and big polluters as well as economic justice measures to fund the ecological transition, and to build broader support for ambitious environmental measures. This includes pushing for massive public funding of a rapid decarbonization of the economy, investing in renewable energy, and implementing just transition policies that protect workers and vulnerable communities. 

If left-wing parties are ready to learn from their mistakes, and truly aim to rebuild trust in the political system they have to walk the talk and build on the diversity initiatives led by civil society groups all across the country.”

Soraya Fettih, France Campaigner at 350.org said:

 “The relative majority secured by the left-wing coalition in the National Assembly represents a potential turning point for climate action in France. This outcome, which brings together various progressive parties under the Nouveau Front Populaire banner, signals a shift in the political landscape and offers renewed hope for more aggressive environmental policies. The coalition’s platform, which emphasizes social justice alongside ecological transition, aligns closely with the urgent need to address climate change while ensuring no one is left behind. 

The record voter turnout of 66% demonstrates increased civic engagement, however the concerning rise in support for far-right parties underscores the challenges ahead. The new left wing coalition with its relative majority now faces the critical task of addressing the escalating repression against marginalized populations – especially muslims citizens – and environmental defenders. It must initiate a profound effort to combat racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism in France, including within its own ranks. 

The coalition’s success will hinge on its ability to navigate these complex issues while advancing its climate agenda. As civil society, we remain committed to applying pressure and holding the new parliamentary configuration accountable. We will continue to defend our planet, our future, human rights, and our democracy, ensuring that the promise of stronger climate action translates into tangible results for both people and the planet. Our vigilance is crucial, particularly in the face of potential attempts to discredit and delegitimize our mobilizations. We strive to transform this political shift into meaningful and rapid progress for climate justice and social equality, creating a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.”

Media contact: Mark Raven, Europe Communications at 350.org, +447841474125, [email protected]