On Monday, the Ecological Defense Council at the Elysee Palace held 146 of the 149 measures recommended by Citizen’s Convention for the Climate. Among them, the government will ban heated terraces and oil and coal-fired boilers in new homes.
Mandatory work on heat filter 2023, ban on heated terraces 2021, assistance for rail freight with the relaunch of the Perpignan-Rungis line, new protected areas: during an ecological defense council in the Élysée, the government resumed, Monday 27 July, 146 concrete measures issued by Citizen’s Convention for the Climate.
The 150 participating citizens had proposed 149 regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To encourage the thermal renovation of buildings, the government will thus by 20 decrees introduce the idea of energy performance in the criteria for “decent housing”, announced Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon. This allows tenants in homes that consume more than 500 kWh per m2 of heat per year, or 120,000 rental homes, “to demand that the owner perform work or even hand over the matter to the judge who may decide to freeze the rent or prohibit the rental of homes” .
And from 2022, it will be forbidden to install oil and coal boilers in new homes or replace an existing boiler with such boilers.
In order to honor Emmanuel Macron’s promise that France will reach 30% of its land area in protected areas, Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili announced the establishment of a national nature reserve in the Robertsau forest in Alsace. She also recalled the forthcoming creation of two regional nature parks, at Mont Ventoux and in the Gulf of Somme – announcements already made in February.
Heated terraces will be banned in 2021
As for the moratorium on new peripheral commercial zones, required by the Convention and promised by Emmanuel Macron, it will wait for a law in 2021. But then the prefects must postpone all projects that concretize more, including the ongoing investigation, to the National Commission for Commercial Development. What, de facto, freeze them by passing a law.
The government also wants to create a fund to “rehabilitate hundreds of hectares of wasteland” that is already artificial.
Another decision, the government will ban heated terraces, but after next winter to take into account the crisis that restaurant owners are experiencing due to Covid-19. In addition, Barbara Pompili, who condemned a “deviation”, added that the doors to heated or air-conditioned buildings and businesses must remain closed.
A big blow for restaurant owners. “We are angry, it really is not the time! It is unlikely. And where is the consultation promised by the government?”, Indignant on BFMTV Didier Chenet, chairman of GNI (association of hotel owners and restaurateurs).
Measures should be included in the recovery plan
Prime Minister Jean Castex, who travels to Bonneuil-sur-Marne (Val-de-Marne), took over to announce toll exemptions for freight trains 2020 and 2021 to encourage this mode of transport. That is, an exception of EUR 63 million per year.
Jean Castex describes the plan to revive rail freight
He also announced the restart of the Perpignan-Rungis freight line, closed a year ago, as well as the creation of two other “railway motorways”, Bayonne-Cherbourg and Sète-Calais.
On the other hand, the Council did not state the limitation to 30 km / h in built-up areas or the increase in the ecological bonus for vehicles emitting some carbon dioxide, as required by the Convention. On these sensitive measures, the Minister will organize consultations with elected officials this week.
Some of the measures proposed in the Convention should be included in the recovery plan presented on 24 August. The government then wants to present a law on these topics to the Council of Ministers in November for consideration in parliament in January 2021.
Measures that environmental activists and non-governmental organizations consider to be modest
According to environmental activists and NGOs, advertising is not enough. This Ecological Defense Council, “it’s a gadget (…), we say: apply Citizen’s Convention for the climate and hurry because there are less than 600 days left, this mandate is wasted for the climate at the moment”, lamented the National Secretary for Europe Ecology Les-Verts, Julien Bayou.
For Matthieu Orphelin (ex-La République en Marche), these announcements go “in the right direction”, but should not adhere to “half measures”, such as the decree on the criteria of decency houses which, according to him “does not even correspond to label G for the diagnosis of energy performance “.
Clément Sénéchal, of Greenpeace France, lamented the announcements “which postpone any development until 2023, or beyond this five-year period”, when Friends of the Earth fears that online trading stocks will escape a moratorium. “The lack of mention of a freeze is not a coincidence, while the government knows that Amazon’s 76,000 m2 project in Belfort and 190,000 m2 in Ensisheim could be approved in the coming weeks,” they condemn.