It is a “first step” in the transcription of the proposals of the Citizen's Convention for the climate made last month to the government. At the end of the Ecological Defense Council, Barbara Pompili, the new Minister for Ecological Transition, announced on Monday a schedule of “regulatory” environmental measures which will have for some a direct impact on the daily life of the French. The minister estimated that they would represent a "shift in the urban history of the country", nothing less.
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As of January 1, 2023, the government will introduce by decree energy performance among the criteria of "decency" of housing. "This will allow people who live in these thermal strainers [homes that consume more than 500 kW / h per m2 per year] to require the owner to do work, or even submit the file to the judge who may decide to freeze the rent or prohibit the rental of housing, ” detailed the Secretary of State for Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon. However, this measure only concerns 120,000 rental housing units. Remember that the residential-tertiary sector represents 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in France, mainly due to heating.
From 2022, it will also be prohibited to install oil and coal-fired boilers in new homes, or to replace an existing boiler with these polluting boilers. The government claims to want to "support" the professionals of the sector but also households by inflating for example 2 billion euros the device MaPrimeRénov 'launched less than a year ago.
To reduce energy consumption, Barbara Pompili also announced the ban on heated terraces for bars and restaurants. This measure, which risks weighing on a sector already severely affected by the health crisis, will not be implemented before spring 2021. It will also be necessary to "close the doors for all heated or air-conditioned buildings open to the public" , a practice which constitutes for the minister an "ecological aberration".
Another point discussed on Monday: the fight against the artificialization of soils and urban sprawl. An area the size of the Drôme department "disappears under the cement" every ten years, recalls Barbara Pompili, who intends to slow down this phenomenon, which is harmful for biodiversity and which increases dependence on private cars. The idea is to "halve the rate of concrete over the decade", with the creation of a fund "of several hundred million euros" to rehabilitate hundreds of hectares of wasteland. A mapping tool will make it possible to better locate the available land.Greenpeace immediately denounced an ecology of "little things" and "insignificant announcements already provided for in the law passed last year"
As for the new commercial zones on the outskirts of cities, the Minister announced the sending of a circular to the prefects to "ask them to scrupulously ensure that the principle of the fight against artificialization is respected in the commercial exploitation authorization files. ". In a second step , the authorization criteria “will be strengthened” . Greenpeace immediately denounced an ecology of “little things” and “insignificant” announcements already provided for in the law passed last year, which refers any development to 2023, that is to say outside this five-year term ”. Grégoire Fraty, one of the members of the Climate Convention, wants to be more confident: "It's a start, we will remain cautious about the rest." He is indeed aware that these first announcements are still far from their recommendations.
The Minister of Ecological Transition, however, assured that this was only the beginning. As of Wednesday, the members of the Convention will meet employers, unions, local elected representatives and parliamentarians to work on a bill containing their proposals. A first version should be ready at the end of September before an examination in Parliament scheduled for next January.