who are these new environmental activists?

who are these new environmental activists

Described as carrying “the last chance rescue operation”, Last Renovation is a collective of several activists who make themselves known through controversial actions.

Blockages of the Paris ring road, interruption of the Roland-Garros tennis tournament…; the shock actions of the Last Renovation collective accumulate but divide. This protest and environmental movement’s main objective is to make the government react, in particular with the implementation of an ambitious thermal renovation in France by 2040 to fight against climate change.

The sequence of operations is almost always the same; during their public blocking actions or popular events, the activists wear a white t-shirt stained with a number written in black, corresponding to the countdown of the days left before the “climate disaster”. The group appeared in 2022, highlights on its site internet the shortcomings of the government to apply the Citizen’s Climate Convention which had prescribed 149 actions to be implemented in France to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The activists have therefore decided to multiply the punch actions to “enforce the commitments to which our government refuses to comply”. The members of the collective even declared that it was up to them “to enter into civil resistance”.

Members of the environmental movement have also expressed concern regarding COP 27, which is being held from November 6 to 18 in Egypt. Guest of the Grand interview on France Inter in early November, Sasha Cantet, environmental activist from the Last Renovation group, raised the importance of the kind of meeting between states but denounced the inaction behind the speeches; according to the environmentalist, despite the fact that it is the 27th Conference of the Parties on the climate, “there has still not been a binding agreement” she lamented. Sasha Cantet also pointed out that climate change did not wait for “the greats of this world to act, there are deaths here in France. We had 11,000 deaths this summer compared to the heat waves. Every year, 2,200 people die because they are in a thermal sieve,” she said indignantly.

Member of an international network

Last renovation is part of a larger group, the A22 network, which coordinates its actions with 10 other countries. The activists of Just stop oil in England had notably scandalized part of public opinion on October 14, 2022 by sprinkling soup on the painting by Van Gogh exhibited at the National Gallery in London. A few days later Just stop oil also attacked British royalty by encrusting the wax statue of King Charles III at the Tussaud museum. Here are the collectives abroad collaborating with the French organization:

  • England: Just stop oil
  • Sweden: Återställ Våtmarker
  • United States: Declare Emergency
  • Germany: Letzte Generation
  • Canada: Save Old Growth (Tue/Thu), (Sat), (Sun)
  • Switzerland: Renovate Switzerland
  • Norway: Stopp Oljeletinga!
  • Italy: Ultima Generation
  • Australia: Fireproof
  • New Zealand: Restore Passenger Rail

Images of Last Renovation actions

The collective wishes to set up non-violent but “disruptive” actions to obtain from the government the legislative changes required such as the thermal renovation of many dwellings. Here are the images of some actions carried out by the French environmental group.

The French group felt that asking “nicely is not enough, we have to create a constraint.” Constraint not always accepted by the users blocked by the operations of the collective, in particular resulting in the ire of the drivers blocked during the sit-ins organized on the Paris ring road.