Despite the December 31 ultimatum, “goals will not be met by the government”

The decision taken in October 2021 was completely unprecedented. In France anyway. The Paris administrative court has given the French state a little more than a year to change its trajectory on climate issues. At the origin of this condemnation, we see four environmental associations – the Nature and Human Foundation, Greenpeace France, Our Work for All and Oxfam France – united in the collective work of the Century. Oxfam France’s campaign manager Elise Naccarato explains that there is “I have little doubt that the state will not take measures » goals.

Will the state reach its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by December 31?
We are a few days away from the fateful date and all the elements are making us believe that the targets will not be met. We have several reports, including from the High Council on Climate Change, and they all tell us the same thing. During the first nine months of 2022, we recorded no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there is little doubt that the state will not be able to cope with this problem.

What will happen after this ad?

Will you ask the state for the details of the work done in the last year?
Last week, our lawyers sent a registered letter to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, asking for a detailed account of all measures taken after the conviction in October 2021. The court asked the government to take all necessary measures. We are waiting for what the Ministry means by this. We expect a response in the coming weeks.

What will happen after this ad?

We will ask for financial penalties, so fines per semester late

Do you feel a kind of disappointment when you realize that the things you have been fighting for for several years are still not taken into account?
I don’t know if it’s disappointment. Since 2018, the purpose of the “Case of the Century” is not to condemn the state, but to force it to act and respect its laws. We, the unions, require adherence to the National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC) set by the government. We are not asking him to come forward. Of course, we hoped that this judicial pressure would force him to act in the interests of citizens on a more global scale. We would like it to serve as an electroshock. After four years, we have to come to reopen the proceedings to find that the state did not comply with the judge’s order. Thus, we enter a new phase of the trial.

What will it consist of?
We will demand financial penalties, so penalties for half a year of delay, as in other cases, especially with air pollution. We will ask ourselves again: What will this money paid by the state be used for? The idea for us is to use it in projects that accelerate the ecological transition.

What will happen after this ad?

What will happen after this ad?

The government does not take action on how to transform the main sectors of the economy

Is a new contract of the century possible in 2023?
No, this will not be the “Second Deal of the Century”. One is already good. On the other hand, the former will have continuity.

At the same time, isn’t there a certain government awareness? Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Bechu explains that his budget has increased by 9%. Does all this seem insufficient to you?
This is not enough: the government simply does not measure the way the main sectors of the economy (transport, housing, agriculture, industry, etc.) need to be transformed. The numbers show that not only are greenhouse gas emissions not falling fast enough, but above all, they are not falling nearly as much. We are not even on the right track. Take the march as an example. We are no longer at the stage where we have to rush and speed up to get home by evening. No, we’re not on the right track here, and we need to pull out the map to find out where we’re going. This is not a difference of degree, but a difference of kind. The government is talking about heating repairs of buildings. Very Good. However, only a few thousand residential houses are repaired every year, and about a million houses are needed. Transformation plans need to be more ambitious, more global and more spread over the long term. Checks are not enough. What is done is disproportionate to what should be done.

I don’t know if I’m optimistic, above all I tell myself that we don’t have a choice

What prevents the government from acting more massively?
there is a combination of factors. At number 1, I would say ignorance of the level of activity required. We see this with energy storage: putting on a turtleneck and deleting your emails is nice, but it’s completely disconnected from what needs to be done. And then there are economic interests, in France these are, for example, hydrocarbons. Dizzying projects are being implemented, this is the role of the government.

Are you optimistic about the government’s ability to change course?
I don’t know if I’m optimistic, above all I tell myself that we don’t have a choice. When you spend the summer in 45 degree heat, when you see fires and displacement of people in France, Pakistan or the Horn of Africa, you can’t just look at the passing train. Among the various levers of action, legal leverage is necessary. We have seen this in other countries: in the Netherlands, the state was condemned and the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was effectively revised. Finally, there are many possible measures to put the human interest at the center of concerns.

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