Le Pen, who champions a “non-punitive” approach to the environment, wants to take France out of an EU “green deal” that Macron has championed. It would make companies pay more for the cost of polluting in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The far-right candidate, who told France 3 on Sunday she was not a climate change denier, has stopped short of saying she would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, as former US president Donald Trump did. But her manifesto advocates reaching commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions “at the rhythm [France] will have chosen”.
She plans to end investments in solar and wind power, saying this would allow her to reduce value added tax on fuel. The measure, aimed at drivers and some rural residents, is a reminder of the “yellow vest” protests that marred Macron’s first term in office when he tried to introduce a fuel surcharge as a form of green levy.
Le Pen’s arguments have alarmed companies in France’s nascent renewable energy sector. One executive involved in offshore wind projects said there was “a real concern for jobs”. Another said he was convinced Le Pen would have to reverse course so as not to imperil energy supplies.