He is well known in France for his documentary show "Ushuaïa" which focuses on nature and the environment. In his documentaries, he draws attention to environmental damage caused by humans and changes that need to be made to protect the planet. His popularity has provided him with some influence in the French political debate.
In 2007 he forced five of the major candidates to the French presidential election (including Nicolas Sarkozy) to sign an agreement which stated that the environmental crisis would have to become a high governmental priority.
Nicolas Hulot was candidate in the Europe Écologie-Les Verts primary for the 2012 French presidential election. He lost to Eva Joly. 1973 –78: Agency photographer for SIPA Presse
1978-1987: radio journalist and producer for France Inter
October 1992 to June 1995: Editor-in-chief of VSD Nature
1976-1993: Expedition organizer
September 1987 to June 1995: Producer and presenter of "Ushuaïa, le magazine de l"Extrême" on TF1
January 1996 – June 1997: Producer and presenter of TF1"s "Opération Okavango"
October 1998: Producer and presenter of TF1"s "Ushuaïa Nature"
December 1990: creation of the Ushuaïa Foundation, which was renamed Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l"Homme on January 1, 1995
April 13, 2011: Candidate to 2012 French presidential election.
In 2007, Nicolas Hulot warned candidates in the French presidential election that he would present himself as a candidate if ecology were not one of the main subjects of the elections. His high popularity – and some polls credited him with more than 15% of votes if he were to run – meant he represented a serious threat to other presidential candidates.
To avoid this event, 5 of the 12 candidates in the French presidential election signed his "Pacte écologique" (ecology pact), affirming that ecological problems would be key in all future political decisions.
The importance of this pact, is however, questionable. Some of the decisions made by the French government as a result of this pact are:
The Ecology minister became a "Ministre d"État," an honorific title in the French republic. An important conference was held between environmental organizations, enterprises, researchers, economists and other experts to discuss policies to combat the current environmental crisis.
lieutenant was referred to as "Le Grenelle de l"environnement," in reference to the 1968 Grenelle agreements.
In 2009, the government tried to set up a carbon tax 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.