Seven weekends of work, 138 "experts" heard, for a result that is extremely disparate : the 150 proposals that need to be adopted this weekend by the members of the 'Convention', a compilation of constraints and ideas in the air, leave a bitter taste of unfinished business.
The initial goal was ambitious : to propose measures for reduction of 40% in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, in a spirit of social justice. Forty per cent ! The effort is colossal : it is, in practical terms, to move from 445 million tonnes of CO2 released last year in the sky French to 263 million tonnes. To read 286 pages of proposals submitted to the vote this weekend, it is hard to see how it may one day be achieved if certain measures seem effective, many are tinged with ideology, or are downright magical thinking. "The report does not propose a revolution, but a series of adaptations often cool enough measures already existing or which have already been discussed ", says the lawyer in environmental law and environmental campaigner Arnaud Gossement.
The Convention avoids the subjects crispants
fact : ordered to consider whether to abandon or not the increase of the carbon tax, which had caused the movement of the yellow Vests, the citizens have taken a decision, "bold" : not the topic ! Passed by a vote of the majority of LREM in the fall of 2017, but cancelled in December 2018, which is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 8.7 %, which is appointed by almost all experts as THE most effective, is so buried from the outset. Out of questions, for the use of citizens who have taken very seriously the notion of "social justice" with their mission, and to pay for the more modest.
They propose to replace, an inventory of measures cast of characters, some of which are interesting (the experts have been demanding for a long time the inclusion of a criterion weight of the vehicle in the determination of the penalty, the heaviest being by definition more polluting), other polemics : speed limitation on the highway at 110 km/h (the expected impact has been encrypted by the Ademe to 2 Mt of CO2, without assessment of costs in terms of competitiveness), impose a regular monitoring of the truck driver training eco-driving, modulate the taxes on insurance contracts as a function of CO2 emissions, and prohibit as of 2025 new vehicle sales very issuers, their access to city centres...
Not a word about the gas or the nuclear !
In terms of housing, the firmness displayed mask a lack of understanding of the issues. They propose, for example, to constrain the energy renovation of private buildings (to the year 2030 for the labels F and G), what is already provided for law, energy and climate by... 2028. They also want to compel the renovation of global public buildings, require the change of the boilers to fuel oil and coal, encourage them to limit the heating to 19 °C and does not trigger the cooling below 30 °C... Of effective measures, but focused exclusively on the reduction of the consumption or loss of energy, without that ever being the question of its source. Today, 46 % of the buildings are heated by gas, a lot more polluting than electricity.
Because it is the tour de force of the Convention : so that the fight against global warming requires a massive electrification of transport, industry, tertiary, etc, to replace the sources of carbon energy (electrification rate, less than 30 % globally today, should reach 70 % by 2050, according to the national strategy of low carbon), the members of the Convention do not suggest once the nuclear issue, a source of clean energy that the government has decided to reduce the availability of closing 14 reactors by 2035. "Too cleaving ", according to one of its members.
They don't say a word, not more, of the 16 gas-fired power plants that are still present on the territory, and who have rejected last year's 14.8 million tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere, three times more than the domestic airline (which would be forbidden for flights of less than 4 hours) ! In the clear : citizens should avoid any decision structuring, and rather than change the offer, they endeavour to compel the application, assuming to set the country on a slope decreasing. "The reduction of working time without loss of pay, is proposed to go towards this new model : simplicity, sharing, social justice," they wrote. To fully respond to these issues, we need to consume less, produce less and therefore work less. "The work week shall, therefore, pass to 28 hours, paid 35 hours at the smic level. Surprising paradox : work less for the same wage implies, at minimum, a maintenance of the growth, for that wealth to be redistributed are produced...
Read also : Climate : the expensive "at the same time" the government
We want by 2030 100 % of French households eat at least 20 % of fruits and vegetables, grain products, and legumes from organic products.
The same paradoxes can be found in the crowd of proposals, unrelated to the climate, detailed information on consumption, agriculture, food... The 150 citizens want to " achieve 50 % of the farms in agroecology by 2040 ", " reducing the use of plant protection products by 50% by 2025 ", the " imposition of internships on farms that apply the methods of agroecology ". The issues of alternatives to protect from pests, crop yields (decrease of 10% to 50% depending on the crop), investment costs, or the labor (which will therefore have to work 28 hours...) are never asked. Gm crops, however, identified by Ipcc as potential allies in the fight against climate change and for biodiversity (to produce with less pesticides, or reduce the grip on the soil), will remain prohibited. "We want that by 2030 100 % of French households eat at least 20 % of fruits and vegetables, grain products, and legumes from organic products ", established by citizens. Without worrying about how the household will pay...
"The lack of knowledge, misunderstanding sweat of many of these measures," says the former Environment minister, Brice Lalonde. "As if they had wanted to paint an ideal world, without consulting any business leader, no economist... As if everything could be done with a magic wand. There's a kind of contempt for the competitiveness, and self-centeredness. "The role of Europe, which manufactures 80 % of our environmental law, is nowhere detailed. "Many people do know anything about it, they were bewildered, and have listened religiously associations. "Handled, the 150 citizens ? The corporate governance committee that has guided their work was, in all cases not politically neutral : its co-chairs (Laurence Tubiana, an activist in the LCR in his youth, and Thierry Pech, manager of Terra Nova and former anti-globalization) are products of the left. As its "experts" (a militant associative, a former adviser to Benoît Hamon), or the "guarantor" Cyril Dion, activist ecologist who participated in the' Deal of the Century ", which called on the yellow Vests to join the movement.
On a number of topics, the 150 just touch
Some members of the 'Convention', have warned : their 150 proposals have been designed as a " whole ", several environmental organizations, calling, in their wake, Emmanuel Macron, not weakening it, the whole choosing "to the card" to apply. An injunction opportunist who puts several members of the majority uncomfortable. "Really, there are measures that we could take back, but some are lunar !" says a member LREM sensitive to environmental issues. Which praised the virtues of the exercise : "This is a first, it is obvious that we have committed errors, that the citizens ran out of time. But their commitment has been extraordinary. "
And some of their proposals represent real progress : the thermal insulation of buildings (a huge project), emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, limits on advertising, the benefits given to the circuit courts, information on the CO2 content, significant limitations of the artificialisation of the land... The Elysium look at some, which might help to twist a few arms, recalcitrant, with a marked interest. On many topics, the 150 just touch : it will, also, learn to recognize it.