The shock resignation of the French environment minister may mean that EDF can not only extend the lifespan of its ageing reactors but could even build new reactors in France, the world’s most nuclear-reliant nation. The nuclear lobby has for decades had a powerful influence on French energy policy and Nicolas Hulot, who quit on Tuesday, was widely viewed as an impediment to the industry’s drive to maintain nuclear as France’s main power source. Even when announcing his resignation live on French radio, the former ecological activist branded nuclear a “useless folly”. EDF shares rose more than 2 percent on news about the exit of Hulot, who had wanted EDF to close up to a third of the utility’s 58 nuclear reactors and shift to renewable energy.
Reuters 28th Aug 2018 read more »
Emmanuel Macron’s climate commitment to “make this planet great again” has come under attack after his environment minister dramatically quit, saying the French president was not doing enough to meet environmental goals. Nicolas Hulot, a celebrity environmentalist and former TV presenter, announced on a radio breakfast show that he was leaving the government over “an accumulation of disappointments” with its measures to tackle climate change, defend biodiversity and address other environmental threats. Hulot’s differences with the government had been exposed in recent months. He had been disappointed when the government backtracked on a target to reduce reliance on nuclear power to 50% of the country’s energy mix by 2025. After the anti-nuclear Hulot quit, shares in French state power company EDF rose more than 2% in early trading. Hulot had repeatedly said EDF must close up to a third of its 58 reactors to reduce the share of nuclear energy.
Guardian 28th Aug 2018 read more »
French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot has resigned on live radio, in a dramatic announcement that caught even President Emmanuel Macron by surprise. The former TV presenter and green activist said he had quit after a series of disappointments in attempts to address climate change and other environmental threats. Mr Hulot said he felt “all alone” in government. The decision was taken on the spot and, he added, even his wife did not know.
BBC 28th Aug 2018 read more »
In November Mr Hulot said that he almost resigned when he was forced to announce that France would not cut its reliance on nuclear power by 25 per cent by 2025.
Times 29th Aug 2018 read more »
Mr Hulot, a vocal critic of nuclear power, inherited a target to cut the proportion of energy generated from nuclear to 50 per cent by 2025 but was forced to postpone the target to 2035, acknowledging that a speedier shift would risk power shortages and could even push up carbon emissions. Shares in state-owned nuclear group EDF gained as much as 2 per cent on the news of Mr Hulot’s resignation and later were trading 1 per cent up on Monday’s close. A more detailed outline of the plan to cut the use of nuclear power is due later this year.
FT 28th Aug 2018 read more »
[Machine translation] Nuclear: at the heart of the standoff between EDF and Nicolas Hulot. He would like to do the opposite of Ségolène Royal. In its energy transition law passed in 2015, the former Minister of Ecology had set a goal: reduce the share of nuclear power from 75% to 50% of the French electricity mix “by 2025” . The years have passed, EDF has resisted, and we know that the goal will not be met. Nicolas Hulot wants to have the opposite approach: be as specific as possible on how to achieve the famous 50%, that is to say, produce a “schedule” of reactors to close. “What is needed is to do,” insisted the Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition on June 29th. And to warn: “This turn, we must not miss it, and the window of fire is short.”
Les Echos 28th Aug 2018 read more »
[Machine translation] Nicolas Hulot, minister of ecological and solidarity transition, announced his departure from the government on France Inter Tuesday, August 28. “I make the decision to leave the government,” he said, adding, “I do not want to lie to me anymore .” He assured not having warned neither the president nor Emmanuel Macron Prime Minister Edouard Philippe of his decision to leave his post: “It’s a decision between me and me.”
Le Monde 28th Aug 2018 read more »