The municipal elections just took place in France, and the results show there is one big thing that voters have in mind: the environment. Several major cities across the country saw victories for environmentalists.
The unprecedented showing for Europe Écologie Les Verts, a once minor political party, means Green mayors will take charge in Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg. The party also came out on top in mid-sized cities such as Tours, Besancon, Annecy, and Poitiers, while retaining control of Grenoble.
On top of that, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was re-elected with the Green Party’s endorsement, causing French media to upgrade their description of the “green wave” to a “green tsunami.”
Back in January, we wrote a story about Hidalgo and her ambitious proposals ahead of the election, which included a referendum on the role of Airbnb, a plan to make the city center “100 percent bicycle,” a new 5,000-strong municipal police force in which at least half the staff are women, and a vow to spend 20 billion euros on converting office buildings into affordable housing.
On top of that, removing cars from the streets to tackle air pollution was a top priority. With Hidalgo and a host of environmentalists in the office across France, we can expect the country to set a new standard of sustainability in France.