Brice Lalonde

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Brice Lalonde
Brice Lalonde, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Minister of the Environment
In office
12 May 1988 – 2 April 1992
Prime MinisterÉdith Cresson, Michel Rocard
Preceded byAlain Carignon
Succeeded bySegolene Royal
Personal details
Born (1946-02-10) 10 February 1946 (age 73)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
RelationsRosemary Isabel Forbes (aunt)
John Forbes Kerry (cousin)
Cameron Forbes Kerry (cousin)
ParentsAlain Lalonde
Fiona Forbes

Brice Lalonde (born 10 February 1946) is a former green party leader in France, who ran for President of France in the Presidential elections, 1981. In 1988 he was named Minister of the Environment, and in 1990 founded the green Ecology Generation party.

Life and career[edit]

Lalonde was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, the son of Alain Lalonde and Fiona Forbes. His maternal grandparents were Americans James Grant Forbes II of the Forbes family and Margaret Tyndal Winthrop of the Dudley–Winthrop family. Through Fiona's sister Rosemary, he is a first cousin of politicians John Kerry and Cameron Kerry. Lalonde's paternal grandfather changed his surname from Lévy to Lalonde, and converted from Judaism to Catholicism.[1] James Grant Forbes II was a poppy botanist and opium dealer in the China trade during the Opium War, who wrote a book on Chinese plants.

Lalonde was a student leader during the May 1968 student uprisings in France, when riots and upheaval scared the French population away from Revolution and the old Left, but toward an adaptive and calmer socialism.

In 1968, Lalonde was a member of Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (UNEF), the French national students' union, and chairman of UNEF-Sorbonne, which brought France to a standstill with protests and riots. Later Lalonde, with David McTaggart, an activist involved in the Greenpeace protests against French nuclear tests at Mururoa atoll, helped create the confrontational strategies of boarding ships at sea in the 1970s. In July 1973, he was arrested by the French Navy during protests against nuclear tests in Mururoa, along with General Jacques Pâris de Bollardière, priest Jean Toulat and writer Jean-Marie Muller.[2][3][4]

He was the Mouvement d'écologie politique (MEP) candidate for President of France in 1981 (3.88% of the vote),[5] spokesman for Amis de la Terre in 1982[6] and later Environment Secretary of France (1988–90) and Environment Minister of France (1990–92). From 1995 to 2008, he was the mayor of Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a small Breton village where the Forbes family have a villa.

In 1990 Lalonde founded the Ecology Generation party, which enjoyed runaway electoral success in 1992 but then declined in face of competition from the French Green Party. He was unable to run for president in the 1995 elections, being unable to obtain the necessary 500 signatures from French mayors or MPs. In 2002, he left the leadership of his party and politics. He became a consultant, working on development projects in Africa.

In 2007 Brice Lalonde was appointed French Ambassador for Climate Change and was heavily involved in multilateral climate change negotiations until the end of 2010, when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed him Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

Lalonde lives in Paris.


  • 1968 - President of the National Student Union (at the Sorbonne) and leader in the May 1968 student uprisings
  • 1971 - Joined and led the recently created French branch of the environmental organization, "Les Amis de la Terre" (Friends of the Earth).
  • 1974 - Directed the presidential campaign of ecological politician René Dumont
  • 1977 - Founded Radio Verte, a Green radio station[7]
  • 1976-1977 - Journalist for Le Sauvage
  • 1981 - Ran for President of France on the Green ticket
  • 1981 - Member of the National Ecological Commission of the Territorial Planning and Management Ministry
  • 1982-1985 - Administrator of the European Bureau of the Environment
  • 1986 - Expert on pollution of the Rhine by Sandoz
  • 1988-1992 - French Minister of Environment
  • 1995-2008 - Mayor of Saint-Briac-sur-Mer
  • 1990-2002 - Leader of the Génération Ecologie party.
  • 2007-2010 - French ambassador on climate change negotiations.
  • 2010-2012 - United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Selected publications[edit]

  • "Ecoliberalism Lives". Telos 61 (Fall 1984). New York: Telos Press.


  1. ^,,SB109113596846278138,00[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Jean Guisnel, Jacques Pâris de Bollardière, portrait d'un général en honnête-homme, pp. 47-49 in Histoire secrète de la Ve République (dir. Roger Faligot and Jean Guisnel), La Découverte, 2006, 2007
  3. ^ French Presidential Elections. New York: French Embassy New York Press and Information Division. 1981.
  4. ^ Mihai, Gabriel (29 October 2017). "Le grand leader du mouvement étudiant de Mai 68, Jacques Sauvageot s'est éteint à 74 ans". Journal Impact European (in French). Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. ^ Autran, Marius; Autran, Jean-Claude. "Election présidentielle des 26 avril et 10 mai 1981". Histoire de La Seyne-sur-Mer (Var) Récits, portraits, souvenirs. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  6. ^ Le Quotidien de Paris, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 20 October 1982
  7. ^ "Radio Verte: Antoine Lefebure - Brice Lalonde". Les pionniers des radios libres. Retrieved 19 April 2017.

External links[edit]