Climate : lavertissement of the High Council of the government - The Point

It is not enough to express its concern with regard to the climate, yet should he decide to act... It is, in substance, the message-kick fist that address the H

Climate : lavertissement of the High Council of the government - The Point

It is not enough to express its concern with regard to the climate, yet should he decide to act... It is, in substance, the message-kick fist that address the High Council for the climate in its second report published on Wednesday, the day after a reshuffle intended to mark the entrance of the quinquennium of Emmanuel Macron in a new era : that of the ecological transition.

Put in place at the end of 2018 by the president, the committee of experts, bringing together a dozen members, has the mission to inform policy makers in the elaboration and in the implementation of policies to fight global warming. In the clear : France, which adopted a national strategy on low-carbon ambitious, does it work to achieve it ? The answer is clear : no. "The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions continues to be too slow and insufficient to achieve" the goals, settle the experts. Worst : "The structural transformations that are not engaged in the sectors most issuers..." Yet, time is running out, recalls the scientist Corinne Le Quéré, president of the High Council : "The year of 2019 has been the hottest for the surface temperature in Europe, and was marked by two heat waves and a drought exceptional in France. It is time to turn the tide ! "

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The report of 160 pages, entitled "turn the tide, to re-launch the transition," provides a detailed inventory of the current situation, and its evolution. In 2019, France has rejected in the atmosphere 441 Mt eqCO2 (441 million tonnes CO2 equivalent). It is 20 % below the level registered in 1990, but that is too high compared to the trajectory set, and especially the rate of decline has stagnated : the national emissions have fallen by only 4.2 Mt eqCO2 in 2019 compared to 2018, a decline of 0.9 %. "This is well below the decay expected of 1.5% per year (on average) on the second carbon budget (2019-2023), and 3.5 times less than that expected of 3.2 % per year from 2025," warns the report. In spite of the speeches and the "road map" announced, the authors found " little progress in the year that has just ended ", and a fault striking assessment of laws and policies with respect to the climate. "By 2020, we will see a downturn as a result of the crisis of the Covid-19, but it will be temporary and marginal, as there is no structural policy has not been instituted," says Corinne Le Quéré, who is alarmed that the first measures to exit the crisis have been mainly directed, in the name of employment, the sectors which are most issuers of automobile and aviation, without conditionality farm on their evolution towards a trajectory compatible " with the preservation of the climate.

To do the right thing, it is necessary to choose

To straighten the bar, the High Council called a startle and details of the courses of action presented – that is the whole point of the report – hierarchically, according to an estimate of the cost effectiveness. A principle borrowed from medicine to guide action : primum non nocere – first, do no harm. "If a single recommendation had to be retained, it would be to ban any support for sectors in a carbon recovery plan and steer the most possible on effective measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). First, do no harm ; then, build to the low-carbon transition, " the report stressed.

But how to build, specifically, when the means are lacking ? By focusing, by sector, the measures identified as most effective, suggest the authors : "in view of The policies advocated for many years, this are the efforts in the field of buildings, transport and recovery of soils and forests that are the most effective. Corresponding to structural changes, they are becoming creators of jobs in sectors often with a high density of labor... " industry and construction (17.8% of emissions), for example, have already significantly reduced their greenhouse gas emissions. To go further, they now need to electrify in order to reduce their dependence on carbon-based energy (electrification, thanks to nuclear power, is in France a powerful lever for the reduction of CO2 emissions), develop the recycling of materials, support research and development... The agriculture (19.4 per cent) is expected to enhance the storage of carbon in soils and " develop a strategy for plant proteins. Sectors remain the very issuers of transportation (30.8% of emissions) and building (18.3 percent). Corinne Le Quéré, "the energy renovation of buildings could be a strong point proclimat of the recovery plan" announced for the autumn, and " the transport, the only sector whose emissions have increased over the past thirty years ", not enough subsidies targeting low-emission vehicles : "It is now necessary to invest in public transport and infrastructures of mobility. "The $ 15 billion over two years announced by Emmanuel Macron to support the" ecological conversion ", although welcome, will they be good employees ? "It is very good to $ 15 billion, warns the president of the High Council for the climate. But it is necessary to drive the entire stimulus, not just to put a bunch of money somewhere, and the other side to support actions that go against the set target... "

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The report, for the first time, incorporates a detailed analysis of GHG emissions by regions, the structure of emissions knowing the territory, the strong disparities that would justify, according to the experts, an adaptation of policies at local level, in order not to strangle certain territories, and to ensure fairness. "We really need to look at where the measures will have a particular weight, and straighten out the policies, so that the regions that will be most affected to be prepared, for example, to train people, or to accommodate new industries," says the climatologist.

Bruno The Mayor, who has overseen the drafting of the plan, has already heard the members of the High Council and promised to submit, before releasing it to the public, its final copy.

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Updated Date: 08 July 2020, 04:33

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