At the end of nine months of collective work, the 150 citizens drawn to form the Citizens' Convention on the Climate meet for a final working session of three days, starting on Friday June 19. The day before, the Convention had presented its 150 proposals to respond to the climate crisis.

Session # 7 of the #ConventionCitoyenne pour le #climat 👥🌍

The first members of the Convention converge from all over France to Paris 🚅

The hypostyle hall of @lecese is already ready to welcome them for this session of voting and adoption final of the proposals 🏛🗳

- Citizen Climate Convention (@Conv_Citoyenne) June 18, 2020

During this 7th and last session since October, the 150 will now have to decide which of these proposals they will submit to the executive.

They will notably have to decide on a revision of the Constitution, the use of a referendum as well as on the method of financing their proposals.

In particular, they wish to amend the French Constitution so that its preamble includes "the Republic guarantees the preservation of biodiversity, the environment and the fight against climate change."

The 150 citizens also propose that a post of "environmental defender" be created, along the lines of the defender of rights: an independent administrative authority that citizens can seize if they feel that their rights are being violated.

Less energy waste

Their proposals for changes in the lifestyle of the French are divided into five main themes corresponding to the five working groups set up within the Convention: "Accommodation", "Food", "Move", "Consume" and "Produce-work".

The Convention thus proposes to make the energy renovation of buildings compulsory by 2040, with a progressive system of loans and grants, reimbursed by the savings made.

In this area, there is urgency. Despite the public aid that already exists, thermal renovations are not increasing enough in France, while heating in residential and tertiary buildings is the second most emitting sector of greenhouse gases after transport. In 2017, it represented 20% of French CO2 emissions.

The 150 citizens also propose to put in place a ban on heating terraces or lighting stores at night and the obligation to close the doors of buildings welcoming the public, those of shops in particular.

Other proposals which could have a strong impact on the way of life of the French: the Convention suggests to limit the artificialisation of the lands (ie the transformation of natural or agricultural soils into areas developed by bitumen or constructions), ban new peri-urban commercial areas and allow the construction of collective housing in suburban areas.            

Encouraging agroecology

On food, the 150 citizens have set themselves the objective of "guaranteeing a system allowing healthy, sustainable, less animal and more vegetable food, respectful of production and climate, low emitting greenhouse gases and accessible to all".

To achieve this, they notably propose to engage in collective catering towards more virtuous practices. This must go, among other things, by the establishment of a daily vegetarian choice for all public catering, from January 2022 and the implementation of two vegetarian meals per week in school canteens by 2025.

The 150 citizens also propose to tax up to 81.5% of the sale price ultra-processed products (like tobacco) with a high carbon footprint, in particular to finance food checks for the poorest for Amap ( Association for the maintenance of peasant agriculture) or organic products.

They also want France to reach 50% of farms in agroecology in 2040, with aid and a reform of agricultural education. Still on agriculture, they are still proposing to ban genetically modified seeds by 2025 and to increase taxes on nitrogen fertilizers.

Finally, the 150 citizens want the Ceta (free trade treaty between Europe and Canada) to be renegotiated at European level to integrate the objectives of the Paris climate agreement adopted in 2015.    

A "CO2score" for better consumption

To save the environment, we must "consume less to use less natural resources, less energy and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions" but also "consume better by having the choice of consuming less emitting products of greenhouse gases ", emphasizes the Citizen Convention on Climate.

For this, its 150 members propose to create a "CO2score" and to ban advertising the products and services having the most carbon impact.

They also believe that screen advertising in public space and public transport should be prohibited. As well as advertising in mailboxes, for sales or promotions.

They also propose to develop bulk sales and the use of left-luggage facilities at distribution points. Finally, according to them, it is necessary to reinforce and generalize the education of the youngest on the environment and digital sobriety.

The end of polluting vehicles

To make its proposals on transport, the Citizens' Convention started with an observation: "The movement of people and the transport of goods as they are organized and carried out today represent more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse in France. "

To remedy this, the 150 propose to reinforce the bonus-penalty on vehicles, long-term rental aid and zero-rate loans for the purchase of clean vehicles. They also want to see the ban from 2025 on the sale of new highly emitting vehicles (+110 gr CO2 / km). They also believe that city centers should be banned from the most polluting vehicles.

They also propose the gradual abolition of the advantages of diesel for road transport, with aid to transform the fleets and a massive investment plan in the railways with reduced VAT on tickets.

Finally, the Convention wishes to ban domestic flights if an alternative in less than 4 hours exists.

Reduce working time

Regarding the world of work, the 150 citizens affirm: "We want to produce to live and not live to produce". "Our proposals aim to produce and work better, responsibly by designing sustainable products and favoring local production," they add.

To do this, they propose in particular a reduction in working time to 28 hours per week instead of 35 hours, without loss of salary for the minimum wage and the development of telework.

They also believe that French society should help the transformation of trades through training and that of the productive tool with a tax of 4% on dividends from 10 million distributed. They also want to strengthen the recycling and repair sectors.

Possible recourse to referendum

After the vote on these proposals scheduled for Sunday, the question of their application will arise. "A third of the 150 proposals have been legally translated, that is to say prepared to be the subject of a bill, a bill or a regulation," reports the newspaper Le Monde.

For the others, the possibility of holding a referendum was raised. President Emmanuel Macron would not be opposed to it, especially concerning the thermal renovations of the buildings.

Friday, June 19, the Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Elisabeth Borne estimated on France Info, that "a referendum is possible if the citizens demand it". "Personally I think it would be a very good referendum on ecological issues," she added.

To make strong societal choices in ecological matters, the referendum is a solution. These are subjects that concern the daily life of the French, they must be able to express themselves. #Conventioncitoyenne

- Elisabeth BORNE (@Elisabeth_Borne) June 19, 2020

The Minister will come to collect the proposals from the members of the convention on Sunday. Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, will receive the 150 citizens at the Elysée Palace on Monday 29 June "in order to provide a first response to their proposals".

With AFP

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