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The Climate Law facing a legitimate trial before its parliamentary review

                Considering that the Climate and Resilience bill will not allow France to keep its climate commitments, several NGOs are calling for demonstrations on Sunday to demand "a real climate law".  On the contrary, the government believes that its text, which will begin consideration in the National Assembly on Monday, will lead to a change in society.

                                    <p>The slogan is direct: the demonstrators who will march, Sunday March 28, at the call of certain members of the Citizen's Convention for the Climate and several associations fighting for the protection of the environment, in Paris and in the rest of France, will demand "a real climate law".  According to them, the Climate and Resilience bill of the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, which will be examined in plenary session in the National Assembly from Monday, is not ambitious enough.  To the point of no longer being legitimate in the eyes of NGOs and activists working for the defense of the climate.

“This bill will not allow France to achieve its objectives of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Yet we see the impacts of global warming every day. We do not understand that the government and parliamentarians do not realize that we are facing an imminent peril, “regrets, in an interview with France 24, Anne Bringault, operations coordinator at the Climate Action Network, which brings together associations involved in the fight against climate change.

To meet its commitments, France must reduce by 2030 its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% compared to 1990. Emmanuel Macron set up in 2019 a Climate Convention bringing together 150 citizens drawn from the out and having for mission to formulate proposals allowing to reach this objective, all with a concern of social justice. The Climate and Resilience bill, presented in mid-February to the Council of Ministers and examined from March 8 to 19 in a special committee in the Assembly, takes up part of the measures presented by the Citizens’ Convention in the summer of 2020.

Problem: all environmental stakeholders have severely judged the government bill. The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese), the High Council for the Climate (HCC), all the NGOs and even the Citizen’s Climate Convention have issued very negative opinions on the content of the text.

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“It is a law which continues to take small steps, which contains many incentive measures but not binding and which postpones certain essential objectives, in particular the exit of fossil fuels in transport”, estimates Anne Bringault.

“We are once again in pretense”

The examination of the bill in a special committee was also badly experienced by the opposition, which saw most of its amendments rejected without the slightest debate because they were deemed to be non-compliant. The deputy for Deux-Sèvres, Delphine Batho, thus saw her amendments taking up the proposals of the Citizen’s Convention for the climate being rejected one after the other. Worse, she considers that the version of the Climate and Resilience bill is, at the end of the two weeks of work of the special commission, even less ambitious than that presented in the Council of Ministers.

“Barbara Pompili had said that she would not accept any backsliding in committee: yet there have been setbacks on the thermal renovation of housing, on advertising or on the artificialization of soils, lists the former Minister of Ecology of François Hollande, contacted by France 24. We are once again in pretense. On all difficult subjects, such as road diesel fuel or nitrogenous fertilizers, the articles have no normative scope. , to make decisions, 19 reports were ordered! ”

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At the Ministry of Ecological Transition, we prefer to see the glass half full. “We are convinced that it is a text which carries an ambitious but also unifying ecology, assures one of the advisers of Barbara Pompili, contacted by France 24. We were able to find the balance between the need to push the sliders as much as possible while taking into account a certain number of economic and social issues. “

This advisor cites the thermal renovation of buildings as an example of real progress. “We will not let it be said that this is not ambitious, he says. We have written into the law the end of the rental of thermal strainers in 2028, and in 2040, owners are prohibited from living in strainers. We are typically on a subject where we consider that our method will allow us to obtain results.

Of the 37 million dwellings in France, around 5 million are considered as thermal strainers, classified F and G in the energy performance diagnosis (DPE). The proposal of the Citizen’s Climate Convention, for its part, called for the comprehensive renovation (roof, insulation, window, heating and controlled mechanical ventilation) of 20 million homes.

A counter-project “for a real climate law”

Noting the gap between what the 150 citizens proposed and the content of the Climate and Resilience bill, deputies Delphine Batho and Matthieu Orphelin tabled on March 23 a bill entitled “for a true Climate law”, using the word order of events scheduled for Sunday.

This counter-project has no chance of being voted on, but in the minds of its signatories, it is a question of demonstrating a radically different approach, which would allow them to be five to eight times more effective. in terms of reducing GHG emissions than the government text.

Delphine Batho and Matthieu Orphelin thus offer ecological renovation of all homes, support for the poorest households to buy a cleaner car, a rail investment plan or the end of banks’ investments in fossil fuels.

“Our bill focuses on the most effective measures to reduce greenhouse gases while respecting social justice,” says Delphine Batho. We wanted to show that it is possible, with concrete, accessible measures, close at hand, to keep France’s commitments, which the government is not doing. ”

Because for the critics of the government, the Climate and Resilience bill will not, on its own, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, hence the legitimacy lawsuit that it faces. fact. For its part, the Ministry of Ecological Transition replies that all government action since 2017 must be taken into account to assess the French trajectory in terms of reducing GHG emissions.

“I can assure you that the Climate and Resilience law, as well as all previous laws – the mobility orientation law, the law on the circular economy, the Égalim law (agriculture and food), the Energy-Climate law – will allow us to achieve the objectives of the national low-carbon strategy “, responded Emmanuelle Wargon, Minister for Housing to Barbara Pompili, to Matthieu Orphelin, on March 23, during questions to the government. Before adding: “The real Climate Law, it already exists.”

The Minister Delegate mentioned in her response the evaluation of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) commissioned by the government. This indicates that the potential for reducing GHG emissions targeted by all the measures taken during the five-year period is “globally up to the 2030 objective”, but only, she adds, “subject to their full and proactive execution”.

“There has never been so much money for ecology as today”

This last observation of BCG is important since, in detail, the study underlines that “only a small part of the potential”, representing about 21 million tonnes of reduction of CO equivalent.2 out of a total target of 107 million tonnes, “probably seems to have been achieved” thanks to the five-year measures. Conversely, a potential of around 29 million tonnes of CO equivalent reduction2 “seems difficult to achieve given the current measures”.

<div class="m-em-image">

Analysis of government measures taken since 2017 to achieve a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 © France 24
    </div>"We share these fears, recognizes the advisor to Barbara Pompili. The ecological transition is not an easy task. It calls into question our way of life. But the minister will always push to do more. It is nevertheless what government that will have done most of the work, there has never been so much money for the environment as today. "

This optimistic vision displayed by the government is not enough for the citizens of the Climate Convention, gathered since the end of their work within the association “The 150”. They have just launched an “oath for the climate” to encourage the French to adapt their lifestyles to the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We understood that the Climate and Resilience law would not achieve the objective for which they came to seek us, so we now wish to address the French directly”, explains William Aucant, one of the members of the Convention for le climat, contacted by France 24. “As soon as citizens become aware of the catastrophe represented by global warming, politics can go further,” he adds.

To put pressure on parliamentarians, “Les150” also called for demonstrations on Sunday. After several months of consultation and dialogue with the executive and parliamentarians, the street now represents the last available lever in the balance of power between them and politicians.

“We see that it is the policies that block the necessary transformations, while there is a strong expectation of citizens, judge Anne Bringault. This law is the last opportunity in this five-year term to change our trajectory. However, it There is hardly any chance that there will be progress in plenary. Once again, it is the economy and the short term that wins. ”

The Ministry of Ecological Transition promises improvements, especially on thermal renovation or advertising. “To say that this text is not a real Climate law is dishonest. No other country in the world is launching so many projects at the same time. It will be a law of change of society”, wants to believe the adviser of Barbara Pompili.

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