Climate Law in EU Member States
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Climate Law in EU Member States

Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection

Edited by Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy and Javier de Cendra de Larragán

The complex and multifaceted nature of EU climate legislation poses a major challenge for EU member states. This timely book focuses on national climate action, addressing the regulatory responses required for the purposes of meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives for 2020 (and beyond).
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Chapter 8: The paradoxical nature of French climate change law in the light of the Grenelle Environmental Round Table

Nathalie Hervé- Fournereau


The French President’s voluntarist words seem to predict a bold ecological change to public policies. Pronounced in October 2007 when the conclusions of the Grenelle Environmental Round Table were rendered, this speech expresses the ambition of France to be exemplary and to be a leader on the European and international stage. The presence of the President of the European Commission and of Al Gore at this highly political meeting served to bolster this rhetoric. Expressed in the presidential speech, this quest for exemplarity puts the emphasis both on the working method promoted by the Grenelle Environmental Round Table and on ambitious objectives to be reached and the actions to be undertaken. Exemplarity is also reflected in the French Constitutional Environmental Charter. The Grenelle Environment al Round Table is described as an innovative process of democratic dialogue intended to contribute to defining strategic directions and to assessing public authorities’ interventions. With its 268 commitments, it has symbolically resulted in the passing of two major laws. The first one, the 2009/967 Law concerning the programming related to the implementation of the Grenelle Environmental Round Table, lists a series of objectives and actions.

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