Presented as the last major environmental law of the five-year term, the Climate and Resilience Bill continues its legislative course.
This Tuesday, place for the solemn vote in the Assembly, which concludes a first examination by the deputies.
The Ministry of Ecological Transition boasts a text of unprecedented scope, “the last brick of environmental progress made during the five-year term”.
The Climate Action Network, for its part, is annoyed by the imposture of the executive, "which suggests that the ambition is still there".
If the text should move only marginally now, the RAC remains hoping to improve its ambition when it comes to the Senate in the coming weeks.
For some, an unprecedented democratic experience, and the last brick that completes all the advances made over the past five years on the environmental front.
For the others, a "formidable waste" which, "instead of putting France on the right path to meet its climate objectives, pretends to act".
Unsurprisingly, the entourage of Barbara Pompili, the Minister for Ecological Transition, and the Climate Action Network (RAC), federations of French NGOs, take a diametrically opposed view of the Climate and Resilience bill, the last major environmental law. of Emmanuel Macron's five-year term.
"Bringing ecological culture into the daily life of the French"
At the beginning of February, when the text was presented to the Council of Ministers, the RAC already denounced its lack of ambition as well as the many deviations from the 146 proposals of the Citizen's Climate Convention, from which the bill was to be based.
Far from the “filterless recovery” promised by Emmanuel Macron, he pointed out.
Since then, the text has been dissected in the Assembly.
First in a special committee, then in plenary session from March 29.
Five weeks and 200 hours of debate later, this Tuesday we come to the solemn vote, which concludes this first step in the legislative course of the bill.
It includes 69 articles.
Transport, regional planning, food, work, housing… "It is unique in its scale and the extremely vast field it covers," the ministry is assured.
And it goes further than the previous environmental laws passed under this five-year term, by boosting ecological culture in the daily life of the French.
Some progress, but nothing up to the challenges for NGOs
In Barbara Pompili's entourage, we illustrate this with the example of advertising. MEPs voted to ban those on fossil fuels, the introduction of sanctions against greenwashing (when an advertisement conveys misleading environmental claims), or the obligation to display a climate label on advertisements as soon as possible. when it has been adopted by an economic sector. "This will be the case from next year for cars," says one in the team of the minister. Letters from A to E will appear on advertisements to inform about the environmental impact of the model in question. "
The RAC also gives some good points to the text. "On the food side, and in particular vegetarian menus", underlines Jean-François Julliard, director general of Greenpeace France. The deputies voted for the obligation to offer at least once a week a menu without meat or fish in school canteens, perpetuating the experiment launched within the framework of the Egalim law in November 2018. The deputies also asked the State of being exemplary in this area, with the introduction of a vegetarian offer from 2023 in the canteens of administrations, public establishments and university restaurants when there are two menus to choose from.
“Despite some small progress, there is nothing in this text that is truly up to the challenges, nothing that allows us to be on the line of the climate objectives that France has set”, nevertheless resumes Jean- François Julliard.
"We make believe that the ambition is still there"
The director of Greenpeace France even denounces an abysmal gap between "words and deeds", "all the more unbearable as the government continues to make people believe that the ambition is still there". The RAC then embarked on a long list of measures without real scope or in retreat from what the Citizens' Convention proposed. On advertising, for example, the ban will be limited to fossil fuels alone, when the 150 citizens of the Convention demanded that it cover products that emit the most greenhouse gases. "We are not attacking the sinews of war, that is to say polluting products which today benefit from significant advertising efforts", regrets Pierre Cannet, director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF, who had released, at the end of March, a report onubiquity in SUV advertising.
Another striking illustration: the elimination of domestic airlines when there is a fast alternative by train. “The Convention proposed less than 4 hours, the bill reduced the perimeter to 2:30, recalls Amandine Lebreton, director of the advocacy and prospective pole at the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (FNH). The text also excludes connecting flights, which nevertheless represent the bulk of traffic on the line. Clearly, only Orly-Bordeaux will be deleted, and perhaps one or two additional lines. "
The bill also did not retain the establishment of a royalty on nitrogenous fertilizers to limit their use in agriculture, regrets Khaled Gaiji, president of Friends of the Earth France.
“The text sets a moratorium on the establishment of commercial zones on the outskirts of cities to fight against the artificialization of soils,” he continues.
However, e-commerce logistics warehouses are not included, which nevertheless represent a real issue of artificialisation in the years to come.
Going to the Senate to rectify the situation?
There is even more disturbing for Cécile Duflot, Executive Director of Oxfam France. "The text excludes the first polluters, namely large [French] companies," she laments. The four most polluting - BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale and Total - each have a carbon footprint greater than that of the whole of France. Not intervening on these players is absurd for a law that aims to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. "
However, the RAC does not abandon the idea of being able to enhance the ambition of the text by its promulgation.
After the vote on Tuesday, the text will go to the Senate for a new examination in committee and then in plenary session, probably in June.
“It is not folded, insists Pierre Cannet.
In the past, we have made progress in the Senate.
He is responsible for representing the territories and should therefore be more sensitive to issues that affect local communities.
And there are several in the Climate Bill.
Climate bill: Is there still time to rectify the situation for the last major environmental law of the five-year term?
Climate bill: Battle in sight on nitrogen fertilizers this Friday in the Assembly?