Environment

France has already reached the overflow day

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ENVIRONMENT – WWF France’s director of advocacy and campaigns, Pierre Canet, warns, “We’re getting a slap on the day of global overshoot that moves forward every year.” Each year, the environmental protection society determines the famous “excess day”, which marks the date when the planet depletes its annual resources, and also calculates one exceeding day per country. For France, 2022 falls on Thursday, 5 May, and the NGO wants to make it a symbol.

As you can see in the video at the beginning of this article, France is a bad example at the world level in the consumption of resources. The planet enters an “ecological deficit” in July (it was July 29 in 2021). But if the whole world had lived, exploited and consumed like France, the ax would have fallen three months ago. Worse still, history has been advancing since it was calculated: In 1974 it was June 3rd.

As Emmanuel Macron prepares to invest for a second term, the French have already become nature’s debtors. “The first president to start his five-year term in red,” summarizes Pierre Canet. An additional reason is, when the ecological emergency is the subject of very broad consensus, to force the President to undertake ambitious reforms… by taking advantage of the “uncertainty” that weighs on his ecological program.

Necessary ecological planning

For this symbolic deadline of May 5, WWF presented Emmanuel Macron with a series of proposals entitled “A five-year term.”
Succeeding in the face of the ecological crisis that directly addresses France’s ecological footprint”.

For this, three scenarios were imagined for 2027, in the form of a review of Macron’s second five-year mandate: In the first, nothing was done, and the history of the French invasion was advanced by two more days. The second, which takes into account Paris’ current climate commitments, has been postponed for three days to fall on 8 May.

But the third scenario is what WWF would like to imagine: let’s go back to May 30, when the French border was crossed in five years, with different criteria and measures, from a 16% reduction in consumption to the development of electric cars to halving food waste. For this, the authors of the report propose a method familiar to candidate Macron in particular: ecological planning.

A way to navigate a buzz term during the campaign? “We’ve been wearing it for years,” argues Pierre Canet. “This is a term that gained momentum during the campaign, and it’s much better, because behind it is the whole ecological transition organization with a new rule of the game”. I’m not sure that planning this version of Macron is highly desirable by the NGO, especially when Jean-Luc Mélenchon also wants to be appreciated much more by environmental associations. But WWF officials want to believe in their luck.

Is the Macron blur a chance for the climate?

“If we look at its program, there are measures that we include in this report, such as the renovation of 700,000 homes per year. The difference is that it doesn’t detail performance. In this area, like others related to the environment, candidate Macron has been criticized for the ambiguity of the proposed measures. WWF sees this as an opportunity to put pressure on the reinvested president who has made the climate emergency the main theme between tours.

“Our work captures openings in the ambiguity of his program,” explains Pierre Canet, “we capture certain elements… and push the cursor right in”. The proposal to halve the use of pesticides by 2025 is an example of this method, while Emmanuel Macron took the presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2020, committed to the “strong initiative” … without materialization for the time being. HE IS.

Other subjects will have a hard time getting through. This applies in particular to measures related to sobriety and changes in eating habits. The WWF specifically recommends a 30% reduction in consumption of animal protein, a point difficult to address by the President who has never campaigned on the issue.

In the midst of this report, which aims to delay the deadline for our annual ecological bankruptcy, there is one measure, indeed one method, that the organization specifically wants to implement: “climate transition”. The idea that every decree, every project, every proposed law should be screened for climate emergency by an independent body before voting. Pierre Canet, “Today this only applies to 3% of the articles of the law!” he warns.

I am not sure that the Macronist version of ecological planning contains such a restrictive component. The director of the association still wants to believe: “This is his last five years. He who fails in the ecological transition will not want to be president.”

See also The HuffPost: 3 attitudes that are truly beneficial for the climate, according to the IPCC

This article was originally published and updated on The HuffPost.

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