Gaultier sarcastically said that after a reporter asked if traveling by private jet to Nantes, just two hours away by train from Paris, would be appropriate given the climate crisis, PSG was on a “sand yacht”. He said he was considering a trip to the away match.
His answer provoked laughter from PSG star striker Kylian Mbappe, who was sitting next to Galtier at the press conference.
Following widespread backlash in France, Gaultier said he recognized it as a “bad joke” but insisted the club was aware of the climate crisis.
“I love humor and it’s important to have a joke, but I realized it was a bad joke about a very sensitive topic,” he told reporters.
“The first thing I would like to say is that here at PSG we are out of touch.The whole club, the players, the staff, everyone pays a lot of attention to the climate issue.Are we careless?
“I’ve heard a lot since yesterday, the phone call, I was trying to focus on the game today. No need to apologize. It was a bad joke, but believe me, at the club we are all together.” I’m worried about climate issues.”
Alan Krakowicz, managing director of the SNCF rail company, emphasized that the journey from Paris to Nantes is “less than two hours by TGV,” the French high-speed rail service.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told BFMTV: “It is important that people understand what kind of world we are in.”
“They recognize that there is a climate crisis that is no longer just a hypothesis of tomorrow, but a reality that we have all experienced – heat waves, droughts and wildfires this summer – and that everyone… — we live in. You have to be fully aware of the world you’re in,” she said.
“So I call on them to be fully aware of this situation.”
Gaultier’s comments prompted Greenpeace activists to protest outside the club’s Parc des Princes stadium before PSG’s Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday.
They carried placards reading “Climate: No Time to Laugh” and “Climate: Be exemplary” and one protester showed up in a small yacht on wheels.
Agnès Panier-Lunacher, France’s energy minister, told French broadcaster CNEWS that PSG “exceeds” the “considerations” put forward by the authorities seeking to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. said it shouldn’t.
“I think the reactions of Christophe Galtier and Kylian Mbappe show how far they are from the dangers of global warming. I think I taught.
“Global warming is no longer an abstraction, it is something that affects our daily lives.There are forest fires, extreme droughts and floods. It’s not funny and that’s the shocking thing about their words, making it anecdotal.
“And together with the Minister of Sports, Amalie Udea Castella, we have been working with all the players. [sports] The federation is based precisely on a sobriety plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transporting staff, teams and fans who come to watch the competition, and therefore PSG has not exceeded the law. Considerations. “
PSG beat Juventus 2-1 in the Champions League group stage opener thanks to two goals from Mbappe.
CNN’s Rene Bertini, Marguerite Lacroix and Natascha Bracken contributed to this report.