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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Aug.14, 2022 @acebreakingnews
#AceBreakingNews – Climate activists in the south of France have damaged lawns and filled golf course holes with cement, protesting against golf courses’ exemption from water bans as the country faces its most severe drought in history.
Members of a collective linked to Extinction Rebellion targeted the Vieille-Toulouse club and the Garonne des Sept Deniers golf course in Toulouse, a predominantly wealthy area, earlier in the week.
The group sabotaged the two courses by blocking holes with cement and ripping up pieces of lawn.
According to the Extinction Rebellion Toulouse Twitter account, the group’s intention was to “directly prevent the use of these golf courses and, therefore, their watering, requiring real control of water withdrawals from the golf courses”.
They added that they wished to “denounce the monopolisation of water by this leisure industry for the most privileged”.
Despite nationwide water restrictions, and more than 100 French villages suffering drinking water shortages, golf courses can stay green due to a national framework agreement signed between the French Golf Federation and the Ministry of Ecological Transition in 2019.
“A golf course without a green is like an ice-rink without ice,” Gérard Rougier of the French Golf Federation told the France Info news website.
On average, it takes 25,000 cubic metres of water per year to tend to the lawns of the more than 700 courses in France.
In a petition posted online, Extinction Rebellion is requesting total cessation of irrigation of golf courses from level 3 of declared restrictions, and the cessation of exemptions for the authorisation to water golf courses.
They called golf a sport “reserved for the wealthy”.
“A sector concerning a tiny fraction of the population seems to enjoy a privilege worthy of another world in these times of crisis: golf.”
Éric Piolle, the mayor of the city of Grenoble in south-eastern France, tweeted that “the practices of the richest” continue to be “protected”.
According to BBC reports, some constraints on the golf course remain, including that watering must be carried out at night, with no more than 30 per cent of the usual volume of water.
One area in the country, Ille-et-Villaine in western France, has banned the watering of golf courses.
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