Economy

In economics, Yannick Jadot sums up the ecologists

In economics, Yannick Jadot sums up the ecologists
Written by on100dayloans

He wants to be the representative of an “ecology that brings people together” but, before trying to bring the French people together around his candidacy, Yannick Jadot had to start by uniting his camp around a project. In terms of the economy, the MEP EELV sought to achieve a synthesis between different components of the ecologists, first of all politicians, but also from civil society, the economic world, the administration and, to a lesser extent, of the academic world.

Yannick Jadot’s economic program is the result of a “long-term work”explains the manager of the candidate’s project department, Charlotte Soulary. This work began long before the appointment of Picard as representative of the environmental pole, and first consisted of building the common programmatic base of environmentalists for 2022, entitled “Living”.

This common basis is based primarily on the work of the party bodies, namely the 31 thematic commissions of EELV. The “Economy, social and public services” commission, for example, produced several proposals. Some appearing in the final program of the Jadot candidate, such as the abolition of the marital quotient allowing individualization of income tax. Others are not there, such as the separation of the retail activities and the “speculative financial activities” of the banks.

If this commission can, like the others, integrate personalities from outside the party, it has two political profiles at its head: the deputy mayor of the 12th arrondissement Manon Havet and the former federal secretary of the Young Ecologists Theo Garcia-Badin , who supported Sandrine Rousseau during the environmental primary.

Anonymous experts

This programmatic work by EELV took shape from the 2020 summer days of ecologists, where around sixty thematic workshops were organized, including environmental activists, associations, experts from various backgrounds, and citizens. A participatory platform created in April 2021 subsequently received several thousand contributions. Then the parties that make up the environmental pole with EELV – Generation.s, Generation Ecology, Cap21, the Independent Ecologist Alliance, the Movement of Progressives – produced a synthesis of this work, to finalize the common programmatic base, adopted in September 2021 , and that each candidate for the primary is committed to respecting.

Few big names in the economic world – private, administrative or academic – have contributed openly to the development of the program

Finally, in October 2021, after Yannick Jadot’s victory in the primary, 14 groups of thematic experts bringing together the different sensitivities of the environmental pole, were tasked with selecting 200 priority measures. Then a “costing and budgeting” working group took on the task of evaluating the cost and means of financing each measure.

Many of the members of these 14 expert groups worked anonymously. This is for example the case of the budget unit, made up of representatives of private companies, public administration, or sometimes the world of research, explains Charlotte Soulary.

Guillaume Duval, Edouard Martin among the media advisors

Few big names in the economic world – private, administrative or academic – have therefore contributed openly to the development of the program. The best known is probably Guillaume Duval, former editor-in-chief ofEconomic alternativesnow officially adviser to Yannick Jadot. For example, he worked on his proposal to reduce working hours. His idea: not to limit the debate to the 4-day week but to consider the possibility of smoothing this reduction in working time over the year or over the whole life.

The former journalist has known Yannick Jadot for 25 years, “at the time when the candidate worked for the NGO Solagral”and said to appreciate the “Constance” environmental commitments. This link was consolidated during the Grenelle de l’Environnement in 2007, when Yannick Jadot was still director of campaigns for Greenpeace, and worked to bring together NGOs and trade unions around ecology. In the organization chart of the Jadot team, Guillaume Duval is now thematic delegate on social issues. The role of these delegates is to carry the word of the candidate on particular themes and to explain the program to those who request it.

Among the other thematic delegates, there is also, for the “industry” theme, the former CFDT trade unionist from ArcelorMittal, Edouard Martin, previously PS MEP. Finally, the delegate responsible for work is François Desriaux, editor-in-chief of Health & Workpartner ofEconomic Alternativesand member of the list of ecologists in the European elections of 2019, in a non-eligible position.

Greenpeace climate ISF adopted by EELV

“The program was rather carried out by “technos” who work in economic circles rather than in research: civil servants from Bercy, people who work in banks or financial circles, in particular in sustainable finance”specifies Guillaume Duval. He mentions, for example, “CFDT experts” who, like the other contributors, worked voluntarily and in anonymity.

“For the costing part, many senior officials helped us, working confidentially”confirms Thomas Kekenbosch, one of the two thematic delegates to the economy. PhD student at EHESS, this 28-year-old specialist in economic history also has a rather political profile: he is elected municipal Génération.s in Cachan and former local executive of the MJS. He participated in Eric Piolle’s campaign then, after the environmentalist primary, led one of the 14 groups of experts responsible for isolating the 200 measures.

In addition to this work of political synthesis supported by experts, Yannick Jadot’s economic program has also been nourished by proposals from environmental NGOs, such as the Foundation for Nature and Man (formerly the Nicolas Hulot Foundation), Oxfam (now led by the former minister and ecologist deputy Cécile Duflot), or even the Shift Project.

The candidate notably took up and put forward in his project a proposal first defended by Greenpeace: the climate ISF. Yannick Jadot thus plans to tax assets over 2 million euros, with a bonus-malus system according to the impact on the climate of real estate and financial assets. The measure was first taken up by the mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, during the primary, before joining Yannick Jadot’s program as soon as he won.

Economists who advise more than support

To make this climate ISF applicable, the candidate’s team contacted one of the economists who supports the system: Lucas Chancel, who co-directs the Laboratory on Global Inequalities at the Paris School of Economics, with Thomas Piketty . Lucas Chancel thus published in October 2021 a report on inequalities in carbon emissions, in which he defends the principle of taxing investment in polluting activities related to fossil fuels.

“When we decided politically to integrate this measure, we set up a working group, then we asked for Greenpeace’s calculations and we discussed with Lucas Chancel to ensure that the climate ISF was feasible. , because there is nothing worse than a beautiful measure that is impossible to implement”explains Charlotte Soulary.

Academics do not occupy the leading role they had in 2017 with the PS candidate Benoît Hamon, then supported by EELV and its candidate Yannick Jadot

“I was contacted by several campaign teams, in particular that of Yannick Jadot, to whom I presented my work and that which we carry out with the Laboratory on global inequalities, in particular our progressive tax simulator on wealth, and the issue of pollution inequalities”says Lucas Chancel. The scholar also observes “a great convergence of candidates on the left on tax justice and the need to think about it as part of an accelerated carbon exit trajectory”.

Lucas Chancel is not the only economist to have exchanged with the candidate and his team, without becoming an official support. Daniel Cohen, director of the economics department at the École Normale Supérieure and president of the Paris School of Economics, for example, took part in a discussion with the candidate and the sociologist-philosopher Bruno Latour, author of the recent book Mémo on the new ecological class. Bruno Latour has also ended up calling to vote Jadot, but not Daniel Cohen.

Hamon and the academics, the bad memory

If the work of economists, such as that of Chancel – but also that of Julia Cagé or Gabriel Zucman – has irrigated the campaign, academics do not occupy the leading role they had in 2017 with the PS candidate Benoît Hamon , then supported by EELV and its candidate Yannick Jadot. Julia Cagé was then responsible for the economy pole of the campaign, and had worked on the flagship measure of the candidate: the universal income. Thomas Piketty and Daniel Cohen officially supported the PS candidate.

Five years later, renowned economists are in retreat. “Julia Cagé and Thomas Piketty preferred to commit to the union of the left”remarks Thomas Kekenbosch. “There is a lot of disenchantment among some intellectuals who hoped for this union”analyzes Florentin Letissier, thematic delegate for the social and solidarity economy of the candidate Jadot, and also associate professor of SES and deputy mayor of Paris from the environmental group.

“Academics do not find in the political world the modes of operation of the university, where there are fewer compromises. It can be difficult to integrate into a program measures defended by intellectuals because they have to be operational. As an elected official, I cannot stick to one position: I have to negotiate, make compromises”continues Florentin Letissier.

The latter perceives more generally a “loose link” between the intellectual and cultural world, and the political world: “Look at the artists, they don’t take a stand either”.

More direct, Guillaume Duval assumes the fact that there are fewer economists around Yannick Jadot in 2022 than around Benoît Hamon in 2017. “Academics can have their hobbies, and Yannick Jadot had a negative experience of this during the Hamon campaign”he notes. No regrets on the horizon, therefore, because, he said, “the presence of academics among its supporters can be advantageous in terms of communication, but not really in terms of programmatic content”.

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