Nicolas Hulot

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Nicolas Hulot
Nicolas Hulot 2015 (cropped).jpg
Nicolas Hulot in 2015.
Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition
Assumed office
17 May 2017
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe
Preceded by Ségolène Royal
Personal details
Born (1955-04-30) 30 April 1955 (age 62)
Lille, France
Nationality French
Residence Hôtel de Roquelaure, Paris
Occupation Journalist, writer, environmentalist, French environment minister

Nicolas Hulot (born 30 April 1955 in Lille, France; officier de la Légion d'honneur, chevalier des Arts et Lettres) is a French journalist and environmental activist. He is the founder and president of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot, an environmental group established in 1990.

Hulot ran as a candidate in the primary for the Europe Ecology – The Greens party in 2011 eventually losing to Eva Joly. Hulot has refused to be a minister for Jacques Chirac, Nicholas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.[1] In May 2017, he became the Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition in the Philippe Government.[2]

Early Life[edit]

Hulot was born 30 April, 1955 in Lille, France to Monique Marguerite Marie Hulot (née Moulun) a pharmaceutical sales representative and Philippe Marie Joseph Hulot, a gold miner from Venezuela. Hulot had one brother, Gonzaga and a sister, Beatrice.

Hulot's father Philippe died when Hulot was fifteen years old. Gonzaga Hulot committed suicide on 24 December, 1974 when Hulot was 19 years old.[3]

Hulot took up rallying as a hobby when he was growing up and took part in the 1980 Dakar Rally though he didn't finish the race due to difficulties with his vehicle.[4]

Early career[edit]

From 1973 to 1978, Hulot worked as an agency photographer for Sipa Press where he documented the 1976 Guatemala earthquake and interviewed Ian Smith during the Rhodesian Bush War.[3]

Hulot left Sipa Press in 1978 to move to France Inter after being offered work as a radio journalist and producer. Hulot debuted on television during the children's program Les Visiteurs du mercredi.[5] Hulot also presented the short-lived educational programme Les Pieds au mur.[6] Following this, Hulot became an evening reporter focusing on motorcycle events. Hulot left France Inter in 1987.

Hulot presented the television programme, Ushuaïa, le magazine de l'extrême which was focused around extreme sport and natural landscapes throughout the world. The programme was broadcast on TF1 and was co-produced by Hulot's then-girlfriend Dominique Cantien. Ushuaïa, le magazine de l'extrême made Hulot a household name in France. Ushuaïa, le magazine de l'extrême ran from 1987 to 1995. Hulot went on to present Opération Okavango (1996-1997) and Ushuaïa Nature (1998-2012)[7] Hulot's contract with TF1 ended in December 2011 though four of the remaining Ushuaïa Nature episodes aired in 2012.

Fondation Nicolas Hulot[edit]

In 1990, Hulot founded the Ushuaia Foundation which became Fondation Nicolas-Hulot pour la nature et l'homme in 1995.

Hulot and Gérard Feldzer, a former French airline pilot, experimented with airship prototypes originally developed by Didier Costes in 1992, and in 1993, the pair attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Spain using an airship with pedals. The pair made it as far as 1,500km before failing near the Cape Verde Islands.[8][9]

Hulot set up partnerships for the Foundation with companies such as EDF, L'Oréal and TF1.[10] In 2006, the National Museum of Natural History formed a partnership with Fondation Nicolas-Hulot pour la nature et l'homme, organising annual events to bring people together to combat climate change.[11]

In 2013, the foundation launched a think tank based around ecology.[12]

Political activities[edit]

In 2007, Nicolas Hulot told candidates in the presidential election that he would stand as a candidate if ecology were not one of the main themes of the election. Some polls estimated his support at around 15%.[citation needed] In response to his announcement, five of the twelve candidates in the election, including Nicolas Sarkozy, signed his Pacte écologique (ecology pact), stating that ecological issues would be central to all future political decisions.[13]

2011 Europe Écologie-Les Verts Primary[edit]

On April 13, 2011 while speaking in Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, Nicholas Hulot announced his candidacy in the Europe Écologie-Les Verts primary for the 2012 French presidental election.[14] The announcement came a month after Hulot's calls for a referendum on nuclear energy following the Fukushima nuclear accident.[15]

Hulot was invited to a televised interview on the France Inter show 7/9 by Bruno Duvic.[16]

During the first round of the primary, Hulot came second with 40.22% despite polls indicating he would be able to beat Eva Joly who got 49.75% of the vote. Hulot lost during the second round and Joly became the Europe Ecologie-Les Verts candidate.

Hulot announced that he had voted for the Left Front's candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, during the first round. He said he found Melenchon more efficient on environmental issues than Joly. He supported François Hollande in the second round.[17]

Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition[edit]

On 17 May 2017 he was appointed Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition. This is following Hulot turning down offers for ministerial positions from Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande's governments.[1] The position's responsibilities are focused around climate, air pollution, energy and transport. (The latter being done in collaboration with Transport minister, Élisabeth Borne.)[18]

On 6 July 2017, Hulot announced the government's five-year plan to outlaw all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.[19] The plan would also attempt to make France carbon-neutral by 2050. Financial incentives would be offered to people who try to look for cleaner alternatives.[20] This followed a proposal by Norway to ban all petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2025.[21]

On July 10, 2017, Hulot said on RTL Radio that France may close up to 17 nuclear reactors by 2025 in a new plan to reduce its share of nuclear power.[22] Liberal think-tank Institut Montaigne released a report stating that the plan to convert from nuclear energy to wind and solar will cost €217 billion by 2035.[23] In 2016, France's Court of Audit estimated that prolonging the lifespan of France's nuclear reactors would cost €100 billion.[24] France currently derives 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. [25]


Nicolas Hulot has been criticised by some commentators, like Le Canard Enchaîné and supporters of uneconomic growth and political ecology, who have criticised his use of the media and acceptance of funds from large firms, like EDF, L'Oréal and Rhône-Poulenc.[26][27]

Personal Life[edit]

Hulot was in a relationship with Dominique Cantien, the TF1 director from 1987 to 1994. The relationship lasted 9 years (1986-1992) but ended due to Cantien's love affair with pop singer, Claude François.[28] Hulot married world champion rock-climber Isabelle Patissier in Saint-Melo on September 2, 1993. Hulot and Patissier divorced on 9 April 1996. Hulot remarried in Viens on 2 October 2002 to Florence Lasserre, a former municipal councillor and mother to his two sons.[29]


  • Ces enfants qui souffrent, published by P.A.C.
  • Tabarly, 45 ans de défis, published by P.A.C.
  • Les chemins de traverse, published by Lattès Paris, 1989, VLACC-number 00811951
  • Chasseurs de pôles (with Jean-François Chaigneau), published by Albin Michel
  • États d'âme, published by Lattès Paris, 1991 ISBN 2-7096-0957-6
  • Questions de nature, published by Plon
  • À mes risques et plaisirs, published by Plon
  • Le syndrome du Titanic, published by Lgf, 01/2006 ISBN 2-7021-3418-1
  • Pour un pacte écologique, published by Calmann-Levy, 11/2006 ISBN 2-7021-3742-3
  • Osons ! Plaidoyer d’un homme libre, Les Liens qui Libèrent and Fondation Nicolas-Hulot pour la nature et l'homme, 2015 (ISBN 979-10-209-0319-8).


  1. ^ a b, Le (2016-02-04). "Nicolas Hulot ne sera pas ministre !". Le Point (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  2. ^ "France Info - DIRECT". France Info. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "La première vie de Nicolas Hulot". (in French). 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  4. ^ LOURSEAU, Sébastien. "Nicolas HULOT / Jean-paul FLORY / Etienne-georges BATIFOULIER - RANGE ROVER V8 n°206 - Paris Dakar 1980". (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  5. ^, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel – (1980-09-10). "Nicolas Hulot animateur des Visiteurs du mercredi". (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  6. ^ "Les Pieds au mur - Emissions TV -". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  7. ^ "Nicolas Hulot | Fondation Nicolas Hulot". Fondation pour la Nature et l'Homme créée par Nicolas Hulot. 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  8. ^ "La traversée de la Manche en dirigeable à pédales". Libé (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  9. ^ "le passé". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Ils nous soutiennent | Fondation Nicolas Hulot". Fondation pour la Nature et l'Homme créée par Nicolas Hulot. 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  11. ^ "Recherche détective écolo". Sciences et Avenir (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  12. ^ "Espace presse" (PDF). Fondation pour la Nature et l'Homme créée par Nicolas Hulot. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  13. ^ // Le Pacte écologique de Nicolas Hulot //
  14. ^ 2012, Nicolas Hulot, candidat à l'élection présidentielle de (2011-04-13). "Nicolas Hulot :". Le (in French). ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  15. ^ Faure, Guillemette (2011-03-13). "Nicolas Hulot: "Le nucléaire doit faire l'objet d'un référendum"". Les Inrocks. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  16. ^ "Nicolas Hulot - vidéo Dailymotion". Dailymotion. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  17. ^ "VIDEO. Hulot a voté Mélenchon, Joly «heureuse qu'il ait découvert la gauche»". 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  18. ^ Décret n° 2017-1071 du 24 mai 2017 relatif aux attributions du ministre d'Etat, ministre de la transition écologique et solidaire, 24 May 2017, retrieved 2017-07-22 
  19. ^ "France to 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  20. ^ Press, ANGELA CHARLTON and SYLVIE CORBET of The Associated. "France wants to stop sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040". Journal Star. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  21. ^ "Norwegian EV policy". (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  22. ^ "France may close up to 17 nuclear reactors by 2025 - Hulot". Reuters. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  23. ^ "Climat, Environnement et Agriculture Benoît Hamon | Présidentielle 2017". Institut Montaigne - Présidentielle 2017 (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  24. ^ "Rapport de la Cour des comptes sur la maintenance du parc nucléaire français". Scribd. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  25. ^ "France could close 'up to 17' nuclear reactors by 2025 - France 24". France 24. 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  26. ^ "Nicolas Hulot, le Pacte médiatique, de Sophie Divry sur"
  27. ^ "Ne soyez pas timide, M. Hulot!"" [Don't be shy, Mr Hulot!]. L'Écologiste (21). December 2006. p. 3. 
  28. ^ "Que s'est-il passé à la Mamounia avec Douste-Blazy? - Archive". (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  29. ^ "Saint-Lunaire l'a adopté". 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 

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