To achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, several possibilities, but one constraint: act quickly.

The ecological transition agency Ademe published on Tuesday four possible scenarios to achieve this neutrality and limit global warming.

A hundred experts and external partners carried out this forward-looking work over two years, the conclusions of which are made public as the presidential campaign begins.

The public establishment warns in advance that these options are all "difficult" and require to engage in the decade of a concerted "planning" of transformations (land use planning, investments, etc.).

Carbon neutrality, which involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and absorbing residuals, "goes beyond the energy issue", underlines the CEO of Ademe, Arnaud Leroy, who speaks of "choice of society ".

"The challenge is not to limit the question of the future of our country to a question of EPR, whether they are 6, 10, 12 or whatever," he notes.

Changing your eating habits

The four scenarios of Ademe involve more or less sobriety, carbon sinks (natural or artificial reservoirs), societal and environmental impacts.

Scenario 1 sees modified eating habits (a third of the population no longer eats meat), optimizes the existing buildings, pushes energy renovation… Emissions fall and natural sinks are sufficient.

The 2 provides for more concerted sobriety, support for local circuits, a return to medium-sized towns where everything is accessible… Energy demand is halved and the CO2 from heavy industries must be captured.

CO2 capture

The 3 and 4 are turned towards technologies: in the 3, biomass for energy, Haussmann-style planning (we deconstruct and we rebuild), transport is electric but its use changes little ... We have to resort to CO2 sinks technology, including capture and storage devices.

The 4 barely changes our lifestyles (home automation, connected transport…) and tries to repair the impact, in particular with technologies for capturing CO2 in the air, not yet developed.

Neutrality is based on behavioral changes

“Achieving neutrality relies on strong bets, both on the human level (changes in behavior) and on the technological level”, underlines Ademe.

“But not all scenarios lead to the same environmental, social and economic consequences”.

For the Agency, “reduction in energy demand, itself linked to the demand for goods and services, is the key factor”.

It also underlines the “essential” role of “living” (forest, agriculture, etc.), whether it is to store carbon, produce biomass or reduce emissions by modifying agricultural practices.

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  • ecology

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