On July 10, 2018, a constitutional amendment to Article 1 of the French Constitution to enshrine environmental protection and the fight against climate change was initiated by France’s National Assembly. The amendment reads: “The Republic guarantees the preservation of the environment and biodiversity and fights against climate change.” The proposed amendment was accepted by the lower house but was rejected by the Senate.
The idea of amending the Constitution continued in a 150-person “Citizen’s Climate Convention” that President Macron set up in 2019 to formulate proposals for ambitious climate legislation. Over 20 amendments addressing, among others, the rights of the living, animal welfare, the global commons, the crime of ecocide and the principle of non-environmental regression were proposed. The Citizens’ Assembly agreed on enshrining climate action in the constitution, and submitted a recommendation for a corresponding amendment to the constitution.
Another draft law aiming to include environmental preservation in Article 1 of the Constitution was presented to the Council of Ministers on January 20, 2021. The Senate and the National Assembly could not agree on a common wording for the constitutional amendment. The proposal failed on July 6, 2021, and will not be implemented.