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the High Council calls for “rectification”

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The High Council for the Climate on Tuesday criticized the government bill, saying that many of its measures fail by their “reduced scope”, especially in the construction and aviation sectors.

Measures that sin by their “reduced scope”. The High Council for the Climate (HCC) regretted, in its new report published Tuesday, February 23, that the government did not go further in its bill on the climate and called on the parliament to “rectify the situation”.

The measures in the “Climate and Resilience” text, the main tool for deploying the proposals of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (CCC), “go in the right direction, but the bill does not offer sufficient strategic scope”, summed up the president of the HCC, Corinne Le Quéré, during a press conference.

As in its previous opinions on the recovery plan, 5G or housing, the independent assessment body created by Emmanuel Macron is not kind to the government’s climate policy, highlighting the gap between the reduction target 40% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990) and the measures taken to achieve it.

“A high proportion [des mesures du projet de loi] sees its scope reduced by a limited scope of application, or even one-off, lengthened implementation deadlines or many conditions associated with their application “, estimates the new report.

In his sights, the ban on advertising limited to fossil fuels and not “to a set of goods and services clearly incompatible with the transition” (SUV, certain food products …). Or the ban on domestic flights if there is a direct rail link of less than two and a half hours, a limit “much too low” (10% of air traffic in 2019).

As for the building sector (nearly 20% of emissions), the bill provides for a ban on the rental of “thermal strainers”. But the measures “do not apply to owner-occupants” (or 58% of the occupants of strainers in 2018) and “do not provide for a gradual extension to other energy classes”, worries the HCC.

“Missed opportunities”

He therefore pleads for the establishment of a “renovation obligation trajectory” extending until 2050, the date targeted by the government to achieve carbon neutrality.

While the current decade is “crucial” to put in place structural reforms compatible with climate objectives, the bill represents “missed opportunities to accelerate the pace” of ecological transition, insisted Corinne Le Quéré, stressing that “France [était] late “in the objectives it has set for itself.

>> Read also: France could experience an extreme climate by the end of the century

Thus, the first 2015-2018 carbon budget was not respected – the State has also just been recognized responsible for breaches by administrative justice.

CO emissions2 have fallen on average by 1.2% per year over the last five years, but “the current momentum for reducing emissions is still insufficient”, warned the HCC.

Admittedly, with -1.7%, the reduction in emissions in 2019 exceeded the objectives of the second carbon budget (-1.5% per year between 2019 and 2023), but its ceiling had been relaxed after the failure to respect the previous, recalls Corinne Le Quéré.

The climatologist was particularly worried about the ability to “triple” the rate of decline expected for the 3e 2024-2028 carbon budget, when certain measures are planned after 2024, or even in 2030.

So we must “straighten out” by integrating a strategic approach into the law, she pleaded, counting on the examination of the text in Parliament.

“Lack of transparency”

The High Council thus invites “to shorten and clarify the time horizon” of certain measures and “to widen” those having “a structuring potential so that they relate to significant volumes of emissions”.

The government assured in its impact study that the Climate Law would make it possible to “secure” between half and two-thirds of the objective of reducing emissions by 2030.

But the HCC report points to a “lack of transparency on the methods and assumptions used” in the study and “certain inconsistencies in the assessments”.

The very name of the future law does not find favor in his eyes. The term “resilience” specifically refers to adaptation to the impacts of climate change, an “extremely limited” aspect in the text (2 specific measures out of the 69 articles).

The 150 citizens of the Climate Convention are meeting from Friday for their last session to assess the response of the executive to their 149 proposals, including this bill.

With AFP

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