Environmental groups, including Greenpeace and Oxfam, have filed an unprecedented court action against the French government, accusing it of insufficient policy actions to tackle climate change.
The groups aim to persuade a Paris court to force the government to apply its own policies, such as the multi-year energy plan and international agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord.
A former minister and current executive director of Oxfam France said that the state is not living up to the commitments it has made in the context of the 2015 agreement.
Cécile Duflot added that the French state is a litigant and as such should be forced to act.
The court action is further backed by an online petition signed by more than two million people and is supported by other non-governmental organisations.
Among these is the Nicolas Hulot Foundation, created by a former minister and renowned environmentalist who resigned from President Emmanuel Macron's government last summer over the slow progress on climate change goals.
A Greenpeace statement said that France was on the wrong track in terms of curbing its emissions of greenhouse gases, which have been on the rise since 2015.
It also pointed out that the "wait-and-see" attitude has only worsened the situation in the agriculture, transport, energy and biodiversity protection sectors, adding that the government was refusing to put urgent measures in place to reach its objectives.
Speaking in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, President Macron said he does not believe the court action would lead anywhere.
"The solution is in all of us. On this issue, it is not the People vs The Government. This nonsense should stop," Macron said on the sidelines of the One Planet Summit.
A draft energy and climate law that was due to be presented to the French cabinet this week has been postponed so that it can be reworked with more ambitious environmental goals.
Earlier this week the One Planet Summit in Kenya saw the unveiling of the United Nations report on life-threatening risks posed by environmental damage.
The report is likely to add to the debate over who bears the greatest responsibility for the damage already borne by Earth.
Some developed nations, led by the US, had threatened not to "welcome" the report - a procedural but nonetheless significant hurdle if nations are to agree on the necessary cuts in waste, over-consumption and pollution.