If President Emmanuel Macron never mentioned the climate or the environment in his two-hour interview on December 15, the French nevertheless place them in the top three of their concerns. Suddenly voices are rising, popular primary, green wave, … to give a real place to ecology.

The total absence of climate and environmental issues from the long assessment interview of December 15 with almost presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron moved many observers. The tone was set from the start when journalist Audrey Crespo-Mara spoke of the program: insecurity, immigration and purchasing power. On social networks, activists and experts criticized a decision “incomprehensible”, according to the lawyer specializing in environmental law, Arnaud Gossement who helps to make ecology, a neglected campaign theme. Yet these political pressures are mounting to gain importance.

The citizen movement called La Primaire populaire has set itself the mission of “giving hope to the people of the left” by presenting a single candidate for the presidential election in April 2022. The collective is based on ten key measures to that “social justice, ecology and democracy triumph in 2022” . Among the main axes, we find the desire for a “real” climate law supported by the Citizens’ Convention for the climate or a “big bang for a fairer and more ecological taxation”. For the moment, only the socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo has declared that she wants to participate. But a new candidacy could change the situation, that of Christiane Taubira. In a video published on December 17, the former Minister of Justice announced that she “is considering being a candidate” . She lists in a 3-minute video posted on social networks everything that matters including “the determination to stop procrastinating in the face of climate change and the dangers that threaten biodiversity”.

Will the French take the green wave?

For the support of Yannick Jadot, the only presidential candidate focused on ecology, December 17 was the day of their green wave which swept over the stations on this day of great departure. Their objective: to carry out a field campaign to talk about decarbonisation, work and heating methods to the French in their daily environment. Their champion who won the Primary organized by EELV does not a priori want to start over in another Popular Primary type setting.

On the right, the theme barely emerges. Valérie Pécresse after her victory in the LR primary focused on the themes of immigration and security, mentioned: “The ecology of progress, intended to produce more and better” . She adds it to her priorities as follows: “It is one of the crucial challenges for future generations just as much as France’s debt or security and immigration […] I want to be an environmental President, but an environmentalist of the solutions, ”she told Public Senate.

Paradoxically, while the French make the ecological transition their second concern, the presidential candidates do not try to bring them back to the polls by feeding their discourse with environmental priorities. That said, it is not too late for the 2022 campaign to have a different tone from that started in September 2021.