Presidential: what to remember from the great oral on the climate on Twitch, without Emmanuel Macron

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The title of the event was misleading. On Sunday, March 13, the #DébatDuSiècle on the topic of climate, organized by environmental NGOs on Twitch, a live video streaming service, did not see the different presidential candidates pit against each other. Instead, each of the five candidates present on set had half an hour to present, alone, their environmental program and answer questions from Jean Massiet and Paloma Moritz, political streamer (person who broadcasts videos online) and journalist for, respectively. online media blast.

In the wake of climate marches across France and their thousands of protesters denouncing the absence of climate issues in the campaign, the concept was original for an unprecedented exercise, with the event organizers declaring that they want to focus on the content of the programs to possible tense exchanges between the candidates.

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Only those who had political groups were invited (which automatically excluded “small candidates”). Philippe Poutou, for the NPA (new anti-capitalist party) that had insisted on coming, was reserved for him by the organizers. Marine Le Pen, like Éric Zemmour, was automatically excluded.

The first to succeed, environmentalist Yannick Jadot, struggled in the polls, rolling out his program for the first time without surprise and calling for the necessary “relocation of the economy”, recalling that he wanted to “stop commercial areas” to allow local shops and allow the French to spend less time in transport. He also backtracked on a proposal he had already unveiled on Friday: to request the withdrawal of TotalEnergies from Russia, a company he considers “complicated” in “war crimes” since the invasion of Ukraine.

Valérie Pécresse (LR) then took over and persisted on her side in her desire to create a “circular economy”, “detect waste” and favor French production by re-industrializing the country, a proposal that made the two presenters shudder. “The Le Puy lens is dying! She was also outraged and called for greater protection of French products.

“I am in favor of the big replacement but for that of fuel oil boilers”

“We must ensure that the France of happy days is engaged in the ecological transition,” launched the communist candidate Fabien Roussel, third on the list, who returned at length to one of the measures of his program: to provide free public transport and less the price of the train. His proposal to eat meat only “three to four times a week” drew derision from Twitch listeners who could respond live. On the other hand, his joke about “the big replacement” was a bull’s eye. “I am for the big replacement but for that of oil-fired boilers,” he said with a smile, referring to the far-right candidate Éric Zemmour.

Philippe Poutou, the NPA candidate, then made a brief appearance. Because he had to slip away to catch a train, he had time to argue for a “break with capitalism”, which he believes is the source of the disasters on the planet.

Finally, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (PS) reiterated her desire to tax the most polluting large companies with a climate ISF (wealth tax) to achieve a “social and just” ecological transition. She also mentioned the creation of “industrial odysseys” that bring scientists, researchers and companies together to think about “new mobility”.

The candidate of La France insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who announced his arrival the day before after a long tension, finally canceled during the broadcast. The organizers also, according to them, had reserved a slot at 7:50 pm for Emmanuel Macron “if he decides to come”, but despite numerous reminders, he did not come to the filming location, in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne). On average, between 20,000 and 22,000 people followed the live debate, organizers said. The repetition should be widely circulated on social networks, especially on YouTube.

“This Sunday, March 13, marks a turning point in the presidential campaign. Less than a month after the first round, the organizations of the Affair of the Century hope that this moment will open a media series on the climate”, reacted in the evening the associations that co-organize the debate (Notre Affaire à Tous, the Foundation for Nature and Mens, Greenpeace France and Oxfam France)