Climate: pressed for time, Macron refines environmental planning calendar – 28.01.2023, 18:48

French President Emmanuel Macron in Barcelona, ​​January 19, 2023 (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)

France must “double the pace” of efforts to cut carbon emissions if it is to meet its 2030 targets, President Emmanuel Macron admitted on Saturday, stretching the calendar of deadlines to be adopted – from February to June. field of activity (transport, agriculture, etc.)

“We’re not there today. If we don’t change things, we’re not going to get there,” he explains on social media, two days after convening a low-key “environmental planning council.” Elise.

“If we want to reach our 2030 goal, we need to go to 270 million tons of CO2 emissions against 410 million tons in 2022,” the head of state reminds, “this means that we need to reduce 140 million tons between now and 2030. (…) this means that we simply have to double the pace of efforts compared to what we have done in the last five years.”

Anne Bringault of the Climate Action Network, which brings together 27 NGOs including Greenpeace, welcomes the observation: the president “finally acknowledges the delay in achieving France’s climate goals and the need to accelerate action,” she told AFP.

But “concrete measures are still expected”, he regrets, “only a table of decisions is proposed”.

The President actually mentioned the CO2 emissions of the main sector contributing to the warming of the atmosphere – from transport, which is the leading source of emissions in France with 30%, to waste (3%), agriculture (19%), industry (19%). ), construction (18%) and energy (10%).

“We have not achieved cuts” in transport, he admitted, and advocated “intensifying” the current policy: electrify the private car fleet with a conversion bonus, an environmental bonus and, above all, cars made in France.

A strategy deemed insufficient by the Climate Action Network, where the electric car is only part of the solution.

“Emmanuel Macron announced electric car leasing for €100, but it’s impossible to build without subsidizing foreign cars because French manufacturers don’t make cheap small cars, you have to twist their arm,” Ms Bringault says.

Elisabeth Borne’s February announcement of measures to “improve public transport infrastructure” will be a “key moment”, she said: “It will be the first sign of a real change of course”.

For agriculture, “we have to go much further, we have to go much further to reduce our emissions,” urged the president, who intends to have a final plan “in June.” This should be expressed in a future law in favor of the placement of young farmers.

Linking agriculture and energy, Mr Macron suggests that aid for the installation of young farmers can be linked to objectives in terms of energy production, biomass or improving carbon storage.

As the energy transition means a dramatic increase in the amount of electricity needed to feed gas or fossil oil, farmers will be required to use biomass (agricultural waste, wood, etc.) for biogas production, without which, for example, their primary breeding objectives are suspect. .

– “A billion trees” –

By “March-April,” the president also intends to “finalize a forest strategy” to replant “a billion trees” to improve carbon sequestration. CO2 uptake by vegetation has collapsed in France since 2013 due to drought and fires.

There is no announcement on the building side, many sounds are from residential and public buildings, hospitals, schools, etc. calls for a massive plan for renovation. reducing their energy consumption.

The president simply notes that the “consultation” will open “in February” and indicates that he is looking for “a slightly more innovative way of organizing the effort.”

In the industry, after bringing together representatives of the 50 most polluting areas at the Elysee Palace in November, it reminds them that they are set “at the end of May” to assess their “decarbonisation strategy”.

In energy, he announces a new “vigilance plan” by “February-March”, while the Prime Minister is responsible for announcing a “planning” by “May-June”.

Saturday’s Official Journal details the activities of the new regional energy committees, which have been piloted by the region’s prefects and presidents in dual command and are responsible for organizing renewable electricity, heat recovery networks or cold production in the areas.

“I do not hide from you that there is much, much, much work,” concluded Emmanuel Macron. “We are in trouble (…) It will take state money, but it also requires private money.”

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