Emmannuel Macron has been ridiculed over his latest plans to stem the energy crisis in France. The French President has been mocked after he called for the “eradication of coal” as he looks to prepare for an energy crunch this winter, amid shortage fears.
Mr Macron has stressed the priority of eradicating coal and called on China and the major emerging countries to take clear decisions on this occasion to achieve the necessary changes in industrial production patterns.
He said: “Our first battle is the eradication of coal.
“China and the major emerging countries must make a clear decision.”
It comes after the French leader called for “energy sobriety” in France and asked people to cut down on what they are using.
But the French leader’s rivals hit back against Mr Macron’s recent plans on Twitter.
Pierre-Henri Dumont, from the Republican Party, tweeted: “Says the man who closed Fessenheim and had to reopen French coal-fired plants to compensate.”
Guillaume Kiefer, from the Republicans, said: “It is worth noting that Macron is using the words of Angela Merkel, who also spoke of the eradication of coal while avoiding mentioning gas and the dependence it generates.
“Macron is 10 years late on energy strategy.”
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“He has just reopened a coal-fired power station in France… Daring move!”
In April, Mr Macron pledged France would become the “first great nation” to stop using oil, coal and gas as energy sources.
The president said: “This prime minister’s mission will be to make France the first great nation to exit gas, oil and coal. It’s possible, and we’ll do it.
“Between coal and gas on one hand, and nuclear on the other, I choose nuclear.”
It comes as Europe battles its biggest energy crisis so far as countries scramble to protect households and businesses from soaring bills and shore up struggling suppliers.
European governments are pushing through multibillion-euro packages to prevent utilities from collapsing and protect households amid soaring energy costs triggered mainly by the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
European gas and power prices have rocketed as Russia has cut fuel exports to retaliate for Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, leaving consumers struggling with sky-high bills and utilities grappling with a liquidity crunch.
European gas prices rose on Wednesday hitting 212 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), still below this year’s peak of around 343 euros but more than 200 percent higher than a year ago. Oil prices rose 2 percent.
The EU, which once relied on Russia for about 40 percent of its gas needs, has been racing to find other supplies.
Russia, which until the invasion of Ukraine had supplied about 40 percent of the Brussel bloc’s gas needs, has cut flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany and beyond, saying sanctions have hampered operations to keep it running.
The EU calls that a pretext and says Moscow is using energy as a weapon.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega