“Greta or CETA?” French lawmakers pass EU-Canada trade deal despite climate worries

“Greta or CETA?” French lawmakers pass EU-Canada trade deal despite climate worries

“Greta or CETA?” French lawmakers pass EU-Canada trade deal despite climate worries

Written by Reuters

24 Jul, 2019 | 2:35 pm

Reuters – France’s parliament approved on Tuesday (July 23) the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) with a relatively small majority, in a vote that put in spotlight 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and her advocacy.

Thunberg urged politicians in an earlier meeting with parliament to unite behind scientific data and act to control carbon emissions and stay within the 1.5 degrees celsius in global temperature rise.

In a debate before the vote on CETA, a French member of parliament Mathilde Panot asked her fellow lawmakers to choose between “Greta or CETA?” while Thunberg watched with fellow youth activists from the public gallery.

Ahead of the vote, NGOs and green lawmakers had urged parliament to vote against the CETA, saying it undermined the European Union’s social and ecological regulations by importing products made under conditions that would not be allowed in Europe.

Some members of President Emmanuel Macron’s own party were against the treaty, such as MP Eric Alauzet, despite acknowledging progress in assuring commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

French lawmakers at the National Assembly, the country’s lower house of parliament, cast 266 votes in favor, 213 against and 74 abstentions.

A parliament tally showed that 229 LREM members voted in favour of the controversial treaty, 9 against and 52 abstained. At Modem, a centrist party allied with Macron’s, 32 voted in favour, 2 against and 6 abstained.

All leftist and far-right parties voted against the agreement, but among the conservative Les Republicains, one lawmaker voted in favor of the treaty and five abstained.

France is the 14th EU country to approve CETA, which provisionally took effect from September 2017, but still needs to be approved by all 28 EU member states.

The French Senate will vote on it in the autumn too but does not have the power to block it.

Latest News

Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]