Europe

Climate talks chef Marc Veyrat fined for razing forest

  • 18 December 2015
  • From the section Europe
Michelin-starred French chef Marc Veyrat poses in his garden on September 26, 2013 in Manigod, on the Col de la Croix Fry mountain pass Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Marc Veyrat built a botanical garden, beehives and greenhouses where the forest once stood

A French chef hired to work at the Paris climate change talks has been fined for razing 7,000 sq metres (75,000 sq feet) of protected forest near his restaurant.

Marc Veyrat illegally destroyed the trees near the La Maison des Bois (House of the Trees) in the Alps.

The court in Annecy also heard Mr Veyrat ordered a large portion of protected wetlands to be dried up.

He was one of five chefs picked to cook for world leaders at the Paris talks.

He was ordered by the court to pay a fine of €100,000 (£73,000; $108,000) and to restore the wetlands within three months.

Mr Veyrat, who has twice obtained three Michelin stars, told the court he acted with the best of intentions, as he built an educational centre for children.

He also built a botanical garden, beehives and greenhouses at the site, near the town of Manigod in the Haute-Savoie region.

After the hearing, Mr Veyrat apologised, saying: " I am not above the law. Anyone can make a mistake, even me."

At the end of the talks in Paris, countries agreed to a firm goal of keeping temperature rises well below 2C, and will strive for 1.5C.

But one study claims that deforestation is the second-largest man-made contributor of C02 into the atmosphere, which is seen as a major contributory factor to temperature rises.

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