Deemed “macho” or “polluting”, green mayors call on the Tour de France to “evolve”

Green mayors do not spare the Tour de France, which they deplore the environmental impact and the cost for communities. The newly elected are calling for more “Sobriety” to the organizers of the event, of which they criticize certain practices, considered from another age. The latest to pin the Grande Boucle, the mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet. The chosen one did not mince his words by calling the Tour “Macho and polluting”, in an interview with the local daily “Le Progrès”, Wednesday 9 September.

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The newly elected councilor warned that his city, which spent 600,000 euros to welcome the arrival of the 14e stage, did not intend to re-apply until the test had “Demonstrated that it can evolve”. Grégory Doucet argued that he was “More acceptable” to invite sporting events “Whose first priority is not to ask the question of their imprint” on the environment.

Thursday, in front of the outcry provoked by these statements, the president EELV of the Lyon metropolis Bruno Bernard praised this test ” magnificent “ and “Popular” which is part of “Of our heritage”. But he called her to “More eco-responsibility”.

Paradox for some of their detractors: like their counterparts elsewhere in France, the two elected green Lyonnais have made the development of cycling in their city a priority.

A “phenomenal” impact

In Bordeaux, where the ecologist Pierre Hurmic put an end in June to seven decades of rule of the right, the city assures that it “Will remain a candidate” to a start or finish of a stage in the years to come.

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But the new municipality hopes “A strong signal in favor of the environment” from Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the Tour, believing that “Environmental and financial sobriety must now prevail, all the more so in this period of health crisis”. She specifies that the number of cars that make up the caravan and the pollution caused by its advertising gadgets will be particularly scrutinized for a future candidacy.

If Landerneau, near Brest, could be a stage of the Tour next year, local environmentalists – – in the municipal opposition – are raised against this prospect. Their spokesperson Christophe Winckler regrets that the inhabitants have “To pay for an event that fits into old patterns flouting the rules in terms of energy savings”.

“The environmental and energy impact is phenomenal. Sometimes we have three or four helicopters following the main stages, which is quite unbearable ”, he insists, hoping that the 110,000 euros that Landerneau will have to spend to accommodate the runners will be used for other purposes.

The regional capital Rennes, where the Greens belong to the majority of the mayor Nathalie Appéré (PS), had launched the debate by declining to host the Tour in 2021. More for budgetary reasons than ecological, we had then explained.

Hybrid cars

For his part, the director of the Tour de France Christian Prud’homme explains that the Tour will not go “Where it is not desired”, although he has “Vocation to go everywhere to meet its audience”.

“The elected environmentalists undoubtedly believe that we are not going far enough, not fast enough. But we are part of a process of progress and over the editions we develop a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that takes into account the importance of the event, its roaming and its success. “

This year, and for the first time in its history, ” the totality “ of the organization’s vehicles in the race “Are hybrids” and ” three times “ three race management cars “Will be 100% electric”.

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“The Tour has started to evolve. But there are still areas for improvement such as the image of women, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and waste management. On this last aspect, its passage can be traumatic for the mountain ”, analyzes the ecological mayor of Grenoble Eric Piolle. “The Tour cannot take into account only what it emits, but it must integrate a global vision”, underlines the elected, recalling however that “Cycling is a much more sober sport than others in many ways”.

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