Extinction Rebellion activists chain themselves to gates of French parliament in protest at scope of new climate bill

Extinction Rebellion activists chain themselves to gates of French parliament in protest at scope of new climate bill

With files from the Associated Press

A dozen activists from the Extinction Rebellion ecological activism group chained themselves to the gates of France’s National Assembly in Paris ahead of the approval of new climate legislation on Tuesday.

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament approved the draft bill by a majority of 332 votes to 77 following over 200 hours of debate.

Ahead of the vote, Extinction Rebellion described the legislation as a “lie of the state” and called on lawmakers to reject its passage. Its objection to the bill centers on the removal of key measures before it was put before MPs. The group claims France’s industrial sector lobbied for the removal of many of the proposals, with only a few remaining.

Flares were set off by some protesters chained to the gates and others gathered below, while braziers were also lit.

Sans qu’on comprenne bien pourquoi, la police s’escrime à déloger les militants XR et les élus qui les ont rejoints devant l’Assemblée pour dénoncer l’arnaque de la loi climat.
La République en matraque…
🎥@xrFrance#LoiClimat #Climat pic.twitter.com/yQczySVgP5

— Marcel (@realmarcel1) May 4, 2021

PARIS – Militants @xrFrance et journalistes sont repoussés par les forces de l’ordre.

Une 10aine de militant restent accrochés à l’Assemblée Nationale. pic.twitter.com/r49N79R8zx

— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) May 4, 2021

In footage shared online, police officers could be seen stamping out the fires and dragging protesters away.

Some journalists were also reportedly pushed back by police.

11 militants d’@xrFrance se sont enchaînés aux grilles de l’#AssembleeNationale. Les 11 clés ont été envoyées aux députés les “moins bons élèves” en terme d’écologie. Le projet de loi “Climat et résilience” fait l’objet d’un vote solennel aujourd’hui.#Paris #ExtinctionRebellion pic.twitter.com/8RMPhy4vGA

— Yazid Bouziar (@ybouziar) May 4, 2021

Members of the National Assembly were also reported to have attended the demonstrations, including left-wing lawmaker Adrien Quatennens, who was filmed talking to police.

The draft legislation was approved on Tuesday at a first reading, but still needs the backing of the Senate.

It will then go back to the lower house, where it is likely to receive assent by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist majority.

The bill includes a ban on short-haul domestic flights that can be taken by train, curbs on landlords renting out poorly insulated properties, and the prohibition of outdoor heaters on restaurant terraces.

Other proposed measures include forcing state-run schools to offer meat-free menus, vetoing the construction of new airports, and clamping down on the use of plastic in supermarket packaging.

The French government has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to its 1990 levels, but this target has been criticized as too low by environmental groups.

The executive director of Greenpeace France, Jean-Francois Julliard, said on Tuesday that the new draft law would “not be enough to effectively tackle global warming.”

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