French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday named François de Rugy, the president of the French parliament, as the country’s new energy and environment minister, replacing Nicolas Hulot who quit unexpectedly last week.
De Rugy, 44, is a long-time politician and environmentalist. First elected to parliament in 2007 with the European Greens, he quit the party in 2015, criticizing its “leftist drift” under the presidency of François Hollande. He founded his own green party in the same year.
He ran for leader of the Socialist party in 2016, but won only 4 percent support.
That year he joined Macron’s La République En Marche party, and became president of the parliament last year.
A big issue for de Rugy will be a decision on whether to reduce the role of nuclear power in France’s energy mix. The government had talked of cutting nuclear to 50 percent from 75 percent of power production, but backed away from the goal.
Greenpeace France on Tuesday reminded de Rugy on Twitter that he said he was “fed up” with the continuous postponement of France’s nuclear phase-out.
The president also named a new sports minister, Romanian-born swimmer Roxana Maracineanu, who replaces former Olympic fencer Laura Flessel, who quit Tuesday.