President Emmanuel Macron warned the French on Wednesday that effort and sacrifice were on the cards in the coming months as the world faces what he called "a big shift".
Addressing his ministers at their first cabinet meeting after the summer break, Macron, looking tanned but sounding solemn, said the world faced the end of certainties, of easy abundance of goods and resources and "of a certain carefreeness".
"The moment we are living ... may seem to be structured by a series of crises, each more serious than the other," he said, referring to the drought, fires and storms that have hit France during the summer as well as the war in Ukraine and disruptions to global trade.
"I believe that what we are going through is rather a big shift, a big change," Macron said, urging ministers to be ambitious.
"Freedom has a cost," Macron told the French, who are already grappling with high inflation in the wake of the Ukraine war. "The battles we have to fight ... will only be won through our efforts."
He said the government would also embark on much-awaited plans to step up its fight against climate change.
Macron, who won a second presidential mandate in April but then lost his overall majority in parliament, faces a number of challenges in the next few months, including persuading reluctant lawmakers to pass the 2023 budget.
One key question will be whether to renew price caps on electricity and gas that expire end of the year, and a fuel rebate, which together have helped keep French inflation lower than many EU peers but weigh heavily on public finances.
Pension and unemployment benefit schemes reforms are also in the works and could trigger street protests.
"I also expect seriousness and credibility in the face of such anxieties, such challenges," Macron told his ministers. "It can be appealing to say what people want to hear ... but you must first ask yourself the question of efficiency."