Emmanuel Macron defends an “accessible” ecology so as not to upset the French

Published on September 25, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Some hoped that the Head of State’s speech on Monday to present the ecological planning plan would be a “speech of political vision: ecology according to Macron”, said one of them.

This Monday, at the end of a new Ecological Planning Council, surrounded by a large part of the government, the Head of State tried to explain the “philosophy” of what he called “the French ecology. For him, it is “based on science and objective results”. “Neither an ecology of denial, nor an ecology of cure” he said again – that’s for the climate skeptics.

It is also a “sovereign ecology”, he defended, explaining for each sector how decarbonization or reindustrialization reinforced sovereignty.

An “accessible and fair ecology”

In the same way, the one who remains traumatized by the episode of the “yellow vests” defended an “accessible and fair ecology”, which “better supports the most modest households”, “never leaves us without solutions”, “protects our fellow citizens” and “our landscapes”. In short, he presented this plan as a way to regain control. Like a counter-discourse to that of the far-right.

In support of this vision, Emmanuel Macron specified the upcoming calendar (biodiversity strategy in October, adaptation plan in December, in particular). And put forward some concrete measures by way of illustration – without announcing any major new developments.

Concocted for 14 months in Matignon by the General Secretariat for Ecological Planning (SGPE), the plan validated this Monday includes around fifty “levers”, aiming to reduce France’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55%. here in 2030, but also to fight against the collapse of biodiversity. Many are already known and some already activated.

Recalling the strategy implemented in the automobile industry (conditioning of the ecological bonus to environmental criteria, location of four giant battery factories in the territory), the Head of State insisted on the creation of a tricolor pump production sector heat to replace gas boilers, which will ultimately not be banned. “It’s a fantastic lever for substitution,” he commented.

In the same spirit, he wants to “launch a large inventory of mining resources” in our subsoil, to secure our access to raw materials for the energy transition such as cobalt, lithium or natural hydrogen.

Coal outlet

In energy, he reiterated the idea of ​​converting the two coal-fired power plants that still operate in the region into biom power plants. “It’s about reducing our dependence on fossil fuels from 60% of our energy mix today to 40% in 2030,” he insisted. Already planned for 2022, the exit from coal had been postponed due to the crisis linked to the war in Ukraine. He also indicated his desire to “regain control of electricity prices”, and indicated that the subject (which is the subject of a standoff with EDF) would be decided in October.

In terms of transport, the Head of State did not give details on automobile bonuses/penalties. He just specified that the social leasing system at 100 euros per month, which should allow the most modest to buy a battery car (one of his campaign promises), would be unveiled in November.

700 million for railway infrastructure

He confirmed the launch of the first 13 metropolitan RER projects and announced that the envelope of 700 million euros linked to rail infrastructure, unveiled by Elisabeth Borne last week, would be devoted to this.

A positive speech, which avoids pointing out the necessary efforts to come. “We are in the wake of the yellow vests,” comments Damien Demailly, deputy director of the I4CE think tank. Emmanuel Macron increasingly supports an ecology of support for households, businesses, farmers, an ecology that relies on public investments and subsidies… He rejects any form of constraint or obligation. It’s an interesting strategy but one that comes with significant long-term financing needs. However, on this point, the head of state was not particularly clear,” he believes.

In short, everything now rests on the concrete implementation of the plan which, Emmanuel Macron himself recognized, “will not be the simplest”.

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