PARIS (Mon June 18, 2001) (AP) _ Rene Dumont, the first candidate ever to run for president on an environmental platform and whose influence helped shape the French Green Party, died Monday in suburban Paris. He was 97.
Dumont ran for president in 1974 _ nine years before France's Green Party was founded _ and won about 1.3 percent of the vote, losing to Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
``We trace the debuts of Green politics to Rene Dumont's presidential campaign in 1974,' French Environment Minister Dominique Voynet told France-Info radio. ``For many, he was our model.'
Dumont was a champion of healthy farming, redistribution of wealth and international cooperation to help poor nations.
He spent much of his career as a professor of agricultural sciences, was an expert with the United Nations and other organizations, and wrote nearly 30 books.
In a statement, France's Green Party called Dumont ``the man who made it possible to bring environmental policies in a direct and natural manner into the political world.
``The Greens owe him ... a large part their existence,' the party said.
Dumont is survived by his companion, Charlotte Paquiet, the Green Party said. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.
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