- Nicolas Hulot has resigned from the post of Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, France
- He announced his resignation on air, without first confiding in the French President Emmanuel Macron
- His annoyance and helplessness to move the government to swift action on several environment and climate change related issues led to this decision
Frustrated by the slow movement of the French government on environment related issues, its environment minister Nicolas Hulot has exited the cabinet. The government surely didn’t see this coming as Hulot did not inform President Emmanuel Macron about the decision before announcing it live on air on France Inter Radio.
Hulot was appointed in charge of the ministry on May 17, 2017. A popular TV personality, he had earned a reputation of being a true environmentalist at heart. He also floated the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man. Getting him on board as a cabinet member gave a lot of credibility to the Macron government for its green ambitions. It was nothing less than a ‘coup’ as how some media outlets termed it.
However, it didn’t last long. Little more than a year later, he has put in his papers with immediate effect. Hulot complained about the government not doing enough to tackle climate change at the national level, inaction against use of pesticides and the administration’s continued preference for nuclear power.
In fact, as Bloomberg reported, soon after Hulot’s announcement, shares of nuclear power giant EDF surged 2.7%. EDF is lobbying for the government to replace its old nuclear power plants with new ones, while Hulot has been in favour of renewables and sustainable forms of energy. For instance, Hulot increased the annual PV tender volume in the country to 2.45 GW, from the previous 1.45 GW (see France To Tender 2.45 GW PV Annually).
He is believed to have said that he hopes his exit may provoke deep introspection in the French society about the reality of the world.
“There is such an urgency! I’m told ‘take your time, be patient’, but we’ve been patient for 30 years. It’s been 30 years that we let the phenomena unfold but they are escaping us. I am told ‘fix two / three priorities’. But everything is a priority!” French Inter quoted Hulot.
The government has yet to announce a successor for Hulot.