“There is no vaccine against climate change”

This Tuesday night, M6 broadcasts the world premiere of “Legacy”, the new documentary “heritage” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Thanks to various alliances made in particular with the regional press and the Ministry of Education, the film has already been seen by students from a dozen secondary schools, who have also benefited from training in sustainable development in schools. Consciousness “necessary for everyone”, estimates the 74-year-old environmental activist. Interview.

High school students previewed their film on M6, accompanied by sustainable development training. Is it necessary for young people?

I think it is necessary for everyone. The 150 citizens of the Citizens’ Climate Convention received seven training weekends, and they may have become even more radical than I have! Today we all need to know what is happening. We read, we see things happen, but we do not necessarily care deeply. That is why my film is quite educational. If we explain to people that we should stop eating meat, that doesn’t mean much. If we explain why, what is the impact, it reaches more consciousness.

Talking with young people, is it essential?

Talking to young people is great. I have 13 schools named after me in France, and I find it difficult to see inscriptions on their walls such as “Save the planet”, “Sort waste”, “There is no plastic in the oceans” … Children have this utopian side and not we can do what they ask of us. Not long ago, I gave a lecture with Nicolas Hulot, and at one point I said to the children “Sorry. Sorry for what we’ve done, our generation.” They are 10, 12 years old and want to save the planet, and we are responsible. They are angry and there is something. I understand their anger, I think it will increase and they will be right.

You said that today there was not a family with a child who was not green. It’s a realization, but is it too late?

Everyone knows that it is too late. Today, the climate as we have known it for 20,000 years, is gone forever. But it is not too late to limit the damage. Children’s awareness, about the suffering of animals, the impact of meat, the use of water … They know all that. When you are young you have the freedom to change the world, there is a kind of enthusiasm that later you lose. These young people are resilient and we must respect their anger and suffering. It is true that Greta Thunberg is, somewhere, haunting and aggressive. But it is right to be like that, it cannot be other than that.

You are one of the first environmental activists. What is your opinion about the new guard, precisely?

Yes, more than fifty years have passed, with Alain Bougrain-Dubourg and Brice Lalonde, we are among the pioneers (laughs). I’ll tell you: I never criticize people who deal with the environment and ecology. I don’t always agree with the way they do it, but we really need everyone, and together we will achieve it, each in our own way. I love what Hugo Clément does, we are in the same family, we are all here to help each other, especially not to fight each other. When people talk about “green wash”, I answer that the paint is dripping a bit, that there is green everywhere, so what? All good deeds, we must push for more. We should not be demanding in front of people who want to change things.

It alludes to the pandemic at the end of “Legacy.” A mandatory passage?

We are capable of shutting down the economy to save lives. But ecology is also saving lives. It would take one pandemic a year to reduce our carbon footprint, but nobody wants that. Today, deliveries of vaccines are expected to fight the virus. But there is no vaccine against climate change. We can wait for deliveries for eternity.

“Legacy”, which translates to “heritage” in English, is it your last movie?

As for the environment and ecology, I will find it difficult to beat this one. But I have other projects, including one that will be called “France, a love story”, a film that speaks of benevolence and empathy, in which I will tell all the good things about France: the land, the people, the landscapes … – through the 70,000 postmen who work in the area, in collaboration with La Poste and France Télévisions.

“Legacy”, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, this Tuesday, January 26 at 9:05 pm, on the M6.