In economics, Yannick Jadot sums up environmentalists

He wants to be a representative of “an ecology that unites people”, but before trying to unite the French around his candidacy, Yannick Jadot had to start by uniting his camp around the project. From an economic point of view, MEP EELV sought to achieve a synthesis between the various components of environmentalists, primarily politicians, but also representatives of civil society, the economic world, administration and, to a lesser extent, the academic world.

Yannick Jadot’s economic program is the result of “long-term work”, – explains the head of the design department of the candidate, Charlotte Sulari. This work began long before Picard’s appointment as a representative of the environmental pole and at first consisted of building a common program base for environmentalists for 2022 called “To Live”.

This common basis is based primarily on the work of party bodies, namely the 31 EELV thematic commissions. The Economics, Social and Communal Services Commission, for example, made several proposals. Some of these appear in Jadot’s final program, such as the abolition of the family coefficient, allowing individualization of the income tax. Others, such as the separation of retail activities and the “speculative financial activities” of banks, are not here.

If this commission can, like others, integrate non-party members, it is led by two political profiles: Deputy Mayor of the 12th District Manon Havet and former Young Ecologists federal secretary Theo Garcia-Badin, who supported Sandrine Russo during the preliminary environmental elections.

Anonymous Experts

This EELV programmatic work has evolved from the Environmental Summer Days 2020, during which some sixty thematic workshops were organized with the participation of environmental activists, associations, experts from various backgrounds and citizens. The participation platform, established in April 2021, subsequently received several thousand contributions. Then the parties that make up the ecological pole with EELV – Generation.s, Generation Ecology, Cap21, the Alliance of Independent Ecologists, the Progressive Movement – synthesized this work to finalize the common program framework adopted in September 2021. and that every primary candidate undertakes to respect.

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

Finally, in October 2021, following the victory of Yannick Jadot in the primary elections, 14 thematic expert groups bringing together various aspects of the environmental pole were tasked with selecting 200 priority measures. The costing and budgeting working group then set about estimating the cost and funding of each measure.

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

Guillaume Duval, Edouard Martin among media consultants

Thus, few big names in the world of economics – private, administrative or academic – have openly contributed to the development of the program. The best known is probably Guillaume Duval, former editor-in-chiefEconomic alternatives, now officially an adviser to Yannick Jadot. For example, he worked on his proposal to reduce working hours. His idea is not to limit the discussion to a 4-day work week, but to consider the possibility of smoothing this reduction in working hours over the course of a year or a lifetime.

The former journalist has known Yannick Jadot for 25 years. “at the time when the candidate worked in the NGO “Solagral””and said I appreciate “permanence” environmental obligations. This link was strengthened during the Grenelle de l’Environnement in 2007, when Yannick Jadot was still director of campaigns for Greenpeace and worked to bring NGOs and trade unions together on environmental issues. In the organizational structure of the Jadot team, Guillaume Duval is now the thematic delegate for social affairs. The role of these delegates is to carry the candidate’s word on certain topics and to explain the program to those who request it.

Among other thematic delegates there is also, for the topic “industry”, a former member of the CFDT union from ArcelorMittal, Eduard Marten, formerly PS MEP. Finally, the delegate responsible for the work is François Desriot, Editor-in-Chief Health and workpartnerEconomic alternativesand member of the list of environmentalists in the 2019 European elections, in an unsuitable position.

Climate Greenpeace ISF accepted by EELV

“The program was run more by the technos who work in economic circles rather than in research: civil servants from Bercy, people working in banking or financial circles, especially in the field of sustainable finance.”, specifies Guillaume Duval. He mentions, for example, “CFDT Experts” who, like other participants, worked free of charge and in anonymity.

“In terms of costs, we were helped by many high-ranking officials, working confidentially”, confirms Thomas Keukenbosch, one of the two thematic delegates for economics. An EHESS graduate student, this 28-year-old economic historian also has a rather political profile, having been elected municipal general manager in Kashan and a former local executive director of MJS. He campaigned for Eric Piolle and then, after the environmental primaries, led one of the 14 expert panels responsible for highlighting the 200 measures.

In addition to this expert-supported political synthesis work, Yannick Jadot’s economic program has also been fueled by proposals from environmental NGOs such as the Foundation for Nature and Man (formerly the Nicolas Hulot Foundation), Oxfam (now led by former minister and deputy ecologist Cécile Duflo) or even the project shift.

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

Economists who advise more than support

To make this ISF climate applicable, the candidate’s team contacted one of the economists supporting the system: Lucas Chancel, who co-directs the Global Inequality Laboratory at the Paris School of Economics with Thomas Piketty. As such, Lucas Chancel published a carbon inequality report in October 2021 in which he defends the principle of taxing investments in polluting fossil fuel activities.

“When we politically decided to integrate this measure, we set up a working group, then requested Greenpeace calculations and discussed with Lucas Chancel to make sure the climate FIS was feasible. Because there is nothing worse than a beautiful measure that cannot be implemented.”Charlotte Sulari explains.

The academics are not taking the lead role they played in 2017 with PS candidate Benoît Hamon and later supported by EELV and its candidate Yannick Jadot.

“I was contacted by several campaign teams, in particular Yannick Jadot, to whom I presented my work and the work we are doing with the Global Inequality Lab, in particular our progressive wealth tax simulator and the problem of pollution inequality. ”, says Lucas Chancel. The scholar also notes “great convergence of left-wing candidates in tax justice and the need to think of it as part of an accelerated trajectory out of carbon”.

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

Jamon and academics, bad memory

If the work of economists, such as that of Chancel, as well as that of Julia Cage or Gabriel Zucman, watered the campaign, academics do not take the lead role they played in 2017 with PS candidate Benoît Amon, then supported by EELV, and his candidate Yannick Jadot. Julia Cage was then in charge of the campaign’s economic pole and worked on the candidate’s main metric: total income. Thomas Piketty and Daniel Cohen officially endorsed the PS candidate.

Five years later, prominent economists are stepping back. “Julia Cage and Thomas Piketty chose to join the alliance of the Left”notes Thomas Keukenbosch. “Among some of the intellectuals who hoped for this union, there are many disappointments”analyzed by Florentine Letissier, thematic delegate for the social and solidarity economy of candidate Jadot, as well as SES assistant professor and deputy mayor of Paris from the environmental group.

“Academicians do not find in the political world the modes of operation of the university, where there are fewer compromises. Measures advocated by intellectuals can be difficult to integrate into a program because they need to be actionable. As an elected official, I cannot stick to one position: I must negotiate, make compromises.”continues Florentin Letissier.

The latter, in a more general sense, perceives “free link” between the intellectual and cultural world and the political world: “Look at the artists, they also do not stand still”.

More directly, Guillaume Duval suggests that there will be fewer economists around Yannick Jadot in 2022 than there were around Benoit Hamon in 2017. “Academicians can have their passions and Yannick Jadot had a negative experience with this during the Jamon campaign”, he notes. So no regrets on the horizon, because, he said, “the presence of scientists among its supporters may be beneficial in terms of communication, but not in terms of program content”.

Leave a Comment