At 6:20 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, a group of Greenpeace activists unfurled three banners from a Notre Dame Cathedral construction crane to denounce the inaction of the French government in the fight against climate change.
In a press release posted on its website, the environmental organization urged President Emmanuel Macron to engage in “far-reaching and radical reforms” to tackle this issue.
One of the banners, which read “Climate Action: Time to Act,” hung 80 meters above the ground. The other two said “Climate Is Our Drama, Macron” and “Climate Action Now”.
The action follows recent financial commitments from the French government, which invested €15 billion in support of the Citizen’s Convention on Climate’s (CCC) recommendations. While most proposals have been approved by the president, others — like lowering the national speed limit on motorways — were rejected.
Jean-François Julliard, executive director of Greenpeace France, stated these promises were still “ineffective in the face of climate change”.
“Billions of euros have been granted without any serious restrictions imposed on the air and automotive sectors, multiple proposals from the Citizen's Convention on Climate have been rejected, and the decision not to call the AACC into question shows that Emmanuel Macron's green speeches do not stand the test of time”, he said in a statement.
He added: “Without far-reaching and radical reform, climate change will result in crises of a much greater magnitude. Emmanuel Macron has yet to grasp the scale of the problem.”
Meanwhile, as talks about the restoration of the iconic Parisian landmark continue, Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot expressed her disapproval of the action, stating the site was still "extremely fragile" and that the event could have "harmful consequences" to the cathedral.