• Nearly 500 NGOs and collectives are calling, this Saturday, March 12, for a great mobilization for the climate through marches organized in 128 cities in France.

  • A mode of action already proven in the past, in particular on March 16, 2019, when between 145,000 and 350,000 French people took to the streets to denounce the government's "climate inaction".

  • This time, all eyes will be on the presidential election, while the climate is for the moment the main absentee from the debate.

    The hope of the NGOs is that a strong mobilization will finally make it possible to correct the situation, even in this context of war in Ukraine.

“Look up”… This is the message to the presidential candidates that the 498 NGOs and collectives who are organizing this Saturday a new round of “climate marches” across France intend to send.

A nod to

Don't Look Up

, the phenomenon film released at Christmas on Netflix.

A thinly veiled satire on our societies' indifference to climate change.

One hundred and twenty-eight events, in as many cities in France, are on the program.

In the vast majority of marches as in Paris, where the meeting is fixed at 2 p.m., place de la Nation, to join République via Bastille.

"But also sometimes debates, citizen forums", adds Marie Cohuet.

The challenge ?

“To show that climate issues matter to many French people and that they deserve to be included in the campaign”, launches the spokesperson for Alternatiba, a citizen mobilization movement on climate change.

She answers questions from

20 Minutes

.

With the war that has just broken out in Ukraine, do you fear that environmental issues will completely disappear from the countryside?

It is precisely against this fatality that this new climate march has been organized.

Even before the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, it was already observed that the environment was completely neglected in this presidential campaign.

Climate issues occupied only 2.7% of speaking time in the media in the week of February 8 to 13 *.

However, 94% of French people believe that the climate crisis is a crucial issue.

Opinion studies on the priorities of the French for this campaign conclude that this issue comes before security and immigration.

Will these marches be an opportunity to remember it on Saturday?

The purpose of these great marches is always twofold.

They are already gateways for those who want to get involved in the fight against climate change.

This is an opportunity for many to make first contact with NGOs, to hear their speeches, to discover the panoply of their actions.

But it is also and above all an opportunity to count and impose the subject in the debate, by showing that thousands of people take to the streets to call for better consideration of climate issues in our policies.

It is this shock that we hope to create on Saturday among the candidates still in the running.

These marches do not have a trivial impact when the mobilization is there.

We saw it in Germany on September 25th.

Two days before the crucial legislative elections for the country's future, 620,000 environmental defenders [according to the organizer, Fridays for future] had taken to the streets, which contributed to bringing to power a coalition endowed with a environmental sensitivity more pronounced than the previous government.

We're back!

Today we were over 100,000 on the strike in Berlin and 620,000 in Germany alone along with many others all over the world, asking world leaders to #UprootTheSystem .

There were strikes in over 80 countries!

#FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/S5oG2RQNXl

— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 24, 2021

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Are there even issues that converge, in your view, between the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis?

The idea is not to make hierarchies between these terrible news.

But it is to emphasize that our future depends as much on the global geopolitical tensions that are taking place right now as on the climate policies that are being put in place now.

Mobilizing for the climate remains a necessity even in this context of war in Ukraine.

This conflict also raises questions that affect ecological transition, in particular through the EU's heavy dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

As we can see, the government [Bruno Le Maire this Monday again] continues to warn us of the repercussions that this conflict will have on our daily lives, in particular through the soaring gas prices.

The last marches for the climate, on November 6, 2021, in the middle of COP26 in Glasgow, had mobilized little in France…

We were still in a context marked by Covid-19.

In addition, several French NGOs, including Alternatiba, had rather chosen, for this day of international mobilization, to carry out actions of civil disobedience in Glasgow rather than marches in France.

On the other hand, on March 16, 2019, the March of the century had gathered 350,000 demonstrators [according to the organizers still] in France.

A few months earlier, the Case of the Century [legal action launched by four NGOs, which resulted in the condemnation of the State for "climate inaction" in 2021] had gathered more than two million signatures, making this petition the most signed in France.

We were also still in the midst of the “yellow vests” movement, with which climate NGOs had established links,

especially on the idea that end of the world and end of the month were ultimately part of the same fight.

In short, there was an alignment of the planets so that the climate issue was pushed very high in the public debate.

We can estimate that today we are closer to the context of March 2019 than to that of last fall.

With the conflict in Ukraine, the alarming new report of the IPCC [on adaptation to climate change, February 28], but above all the presidential election which is approaching.

There are many of us who do not want to wait to slip our ballot into the ballot box to be heard.

A positive sign: we are 498 NGOs and collectives to call for this major event.

It's a lot and in the lot, some are joining this coalition for the first time.

Planet

Ecology: Why does the film "Don't Look Up" on Netflix make climatologists react so much?

Planet

Climate change: "Between 3.3 and 3.6 billion people live in a very vulnerable environment", warns the IPCC

*This barometer is carried out each week by the Onclusive polling institute for L'Affaire du siècle, based on the analysis of 120 sources (written press, online, television, radio, etc.).

For the week of February 28 to March 6, the percentage had fallen to 1.5%, a figure down from a week earlier (2.8%), which can be explained in particular by the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

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