每日英語跟讀 Ep.K426: Plans to Fight Global Warming Face an Obstacle in Paris: Trees
Long a favorite spot for picnics and sunbathing, the lawns surrounding the Eiffel Tower have recently become the scene of furious protests. First came a social media campaign. Then a rally by dozens of local residents. Before long, a protester had hunkered down in a nearby plane tree for a hunger strike.
The source of their anger? A plan to cut down more than 20 trees, some more than 100 years old, around the tower as part of an effort to build a huge garden and ease tourist congestion.
The controversy is just the latest in a series that has engulfed Paris City Hall as it tries to green the city, a task that appears all the more urgent as scorching temperatures bear down on the French capital, and on the rest of Europe.
Local authorities are redesigning Paris’ urban landscape to make it more climate-friendly, but a growing number of residents say the widespread cutting of trees around the capital is paradoxically undermining the city’s environmental ambitions.
Trees are considered some of the best defenses against the radiation that contributes to the heat waves that are on the rise everywhere because of global warming.
“Without the trees, the city is an unbearable furnace,” said Tangui Le Dantec, an urban planner and co-founder of Aux Arbres Citoyens, a group protesting the felling of trees in Paris.
In recent months, small protests have sprouted across Paris, with residents and activists rallying around trees condemned by the sprawling urban development projects that have at times turned the capital into a giant construction site.
In April, they filmed the felling of 76 plane trees, most of them decades old, at the Porte de Montreuil on Paris’ northern outskirts. City Hall wants to turn the site into a huge square, part of a project by the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, to create “a green belt” around the capital.
“Ms. Hidalgo please stop the massacre,” said Thomas Brail, the founder of the National Group for the Surveillance of Trees, as machines chopped up trees behind him, in a video he shot in April. Brail later staged an 11-day hunger strike in a plane tree near the Eiffel Tower.
Yves Contassot, a former deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the environment and a member of the Green party, said cutting down trees had become “a very sensitive question that causes a bit of a scandal at a time when we talk about fighting global warming in big cities.”
曾是負責環境的巴黎副市長、現為綠黨成員康塔索說，砍樹已成了「非常敏感的問題，在我們談論大城市對抗全球暖化時，引發相當的騷動」。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6498712