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12.02.2020 Europe

Macron visits melting Mont Blanc to give election a green turn

LISTEN FEB 12, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected in the foothills of the Mont Blanc mountain region on Thursday, where he is due to announce reinforced efforts to protect the Alpine glory of western Europe's tallest peak, whose ice is melting at an alarming rate.

Macron will visit a glacier at the foot of Mont-Blanc, that, like others across the Alps, is shrinking dramatically.

From there, he will deliver a speech in Chamonix on his vision of what is needed to protect biodiversity and better police Europe's highest Alp.

"After the pension system, the end of my mandate will be devoted to (...) ecology," Macron said Tuesday, in a bid to convince the French his commitment to the environment is more than mere greenwashing, with less than a month to go before local elections.

The onslaught of climate change has melted the ice caps of Europe's Alpine glory.

Protection from wackos
The most dramatic demonstration of glacial retreat is shown by the Mer de Glace, the biggest glacier in France and one of Chamonix's biggest tourist hotspots.

Macron has pledged to "protect" Mont Blanc not just from climate change but also from "wackos," months after a Briton sparked outrage by leaving a rowing machine near the top.

French ecology minister, Elisabeth Borne, is also due to travel with Macron on that visit to the Alps. 

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