Thursday, December 7, 2006

Sarkozy turns green

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy met with former US Vice-President and possible future US President Al Gore today in Paris, where they discussed the urgent need for a new internationally coordinated effort to prevent global warming. Al Gore has always been a passionate environmentalist, but just recently came to the fore of the climate change movement with his movie An Inconvenient Truth. Simultaneously, Sarkozy released a set of new environmental proposals, including taxing trucks driving through France to pay for rail and river transport, doubling the current environment budget over a five year period, creating tax credits for "green" companies, and consolidating environmental policy under one new ministry.

The UMP is not exactly the favorite party of environmentalists in France, and Sarkozy duly noted that fact with a hope that it would change: "Sustainable development and the defence of the environment is such a fundamental question that it should not be owned by one political party." Because pro-environment policies gather much political support, Sarkozy's moves were failsafe. Of course with no risks taken, there is little reward, and Sarkozy shouldn't expect to see a mass migration of environmentalists into his party anytime soon.

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