Senators call for changes to the wolf plan

A Senate commission called for adjustments to the government's new wolf plan which, it says, does not sufficiently take into account the "despair of the pastoral world."

The wolf plan 2018-2023 published in February "comprises undeniable progress for the territories but remains far below the social, economic, cultural and psychological challenges that breeders and populations face, "said the Committee on Planning and Sustainable Development, in a report adopted Tuesday and broadcast on Wednesday.

"The situation is no longer tenable, neither for the farmers, nor for the populations, nor for the public finances.It is a vicious circle of sufferings, expenses and misunderstandings", commented the author of the report Cyril Pellevat (LR, Haute-Savoie), quoted in a statement.

Putting forward the "despair of the pastoral world" confronted with 12.000 ewes killed in 2017, the In particular, the senators call for the removal of one of the most contentious measures in the plan, which conditions the compensation of pastoralists for the introduction of protective measures for herds.

The commission also pleads for "alternative measures" (non-mutilated trapping, coarse shot rifle, etc.) with sampling shots in order to "teach wolves to be wary and stay away from men" and to European management of wolf populations.

Lastly, it calls for wolves killed in some areas of enhanced protection not to be counted in the harvest quotas.

The new wolf plan, which has failed to satisfy either the breeders or the defenders of the environment , provides for an annual culling ceiling based on scientific recommendations which estimate that no more than 10 to 12% of the population must be felled to ensure the viability of the species.

In 2018, an transitional, the initial ceiling is set at 40 wolves, but this number will be updated at the end of April once the precise figures of the population in the spring, said Tuesday before the same commission the prefect coordinator of the plan, Stéphane Bouillon. [19659002] Protected species, the wolf, which had disappeared from the country in the 1930s, returned to Italy from 1992. France has about 360 wolves (divided into 52 packs) and the government plan aims at a population of 500 specimens by 2023.

Is the government's plan to put climate in the Constitution really useful?

As part of the reform of the institutions, the executive plans to complete Article 34 of the Constitution which defines the scope of the law, adding " the goal of combating climate change ". The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese) could also become a " Chamber of the Future " which will enlighten the government on the impact of the bills. " We need to put the climate in the Constitution to (…) have laws that carry ", approved Wednesday, March 14th the deputy Matthieu Orphelin (LREM). For NGOs, this intention is laudable but suffers from a big stumbling block: it forgets the defense of biodiversity . Climate and biodiversity " are major issues for current and future generations and yet these two words do not appear in the constitutional framework ", regretted Pascal Canfin, Director General of WWF France. " We must take advantage of this constitutional reform to put an end to these shortcomings ," he continued.

Do not take into account that the fight against global warming can have perverse effects, fear the song. A tribune in Le Monde cites the example of electric fishing, allowed in the Netherlands because electric trawls are less fuel-hungry and " more favorable to the climate ". " This practice is no less catastrophic for marine biodiversity ," says the text signed by the philosopher Dominique Bourg or climatologist Jean Jouzel. Ditto for diesel engines, which emit less CO2 than gasoline engines, but producers of fine particles, responsible for premature deaths. Another weakness of the governmental project, in the eyes of NGOs, is the passage through the amendment of article 34 of the Constitution. " It would be a failure if we were satisfied with Article 34, which is not binding enough ," said Audrey Pulvar President of the Foundation for Nature and Man (FNH) created by Nicolas Hulot

Environmental Charter

The NGOs advocate rather an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution, which lays down the founding principles of the Republic. They see it as a strong symbol and a means of acquiring more effective legal tools. For lawyer Yann Aguila, the fight against climate change has its place in the Constitution because it is part of " fundamental values ​​of a society (…) that we want to protect from changes majority ". Biodiversity, it already appears in the preamble of the Charter of the environment .

The FNH goes even further and wishes " the inscription of the planetary limits (…) in Article 1 of the Constitution ", which would have the effect of limiting the impact of human activities to sustainable levels for the planet. Otherwise, his scenario "a minima" is to engrave in article 1 that " the Republic assures the fight against climate change and the promotion of the biological diversity ", indicated its scientific adviser Floran Augagneur.

The association "Our affair to all" for the environmental right militates it for " the insertion of a new chapter in the Constitution dedicated to the ecological and solidarity transition ", according to its president Marie Toussaint. On the side of the president of the Commission of laws in the National Assembly, Yael Braun-Pivet (LREM), the sound of the bell is different. " We must not dismiss the fact of putting this principle in the Charter of the Environment ", she said, the essential thing in her eyes being to

NGOs fear that a rewriting of this Charter, backed by the Constitution, leads to a questioning of the precautionary principle. For the lawyer Arnaud Gossement, " the fight against climate change does not need a constitutional revision, it needs to apply the existing and the international and European texts (…) The Constitutional Council, if it wishes, from the Charter of the environment, can talk about climate ". " The environment has its seat in the Charter of the Environment, today the urgency is to apply it ", he insists.

Public debate on the multi-year energy plan begins on March 15, 2018

What is the Multi-Year Energy Plan (EPP)?

Created by the Energy Transition Law of 2015 multi-year energy programs are used to predict development trajectories of the different modes of production of electricity and heat in the hexagon and in overseas departments. Investments must be in accordance with the objectives of the Act:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and divide by four by 2050.
  • Reduce final energy consumption by 50% in 2050 compared to 2012 with an intermediate target of 20% in 2030.
  • Reduce the consumption of gas, oil and coal by 30% in 2030 compared to 2012.
  • Increase the share of energy 23% of the final gross energy consumption in 2020 and 32% in 2030. Today we are at 18%.
  • Multiply by five the amount of renewable heat and cold delivered by heat and cold by 2030.
  • Reducing the share of nuclear power in electricity generation by 2025.

What are the possible scenarios?

If the objectives are well defined, the trajectories are harder to imagine . This is why the State, which is the owner of the public debate, proposes to support the debates on two of the four scenarios developed by Transmission Network (RTE) the manager of 100,000 kilometers of high and medium voltage lines

The "Ampère" scenario examines the reduction of nuclear power in relation to the development of renewable energies. By 2035, there would still be a 46% share of nuclear power generation. This scenario predicts a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. © RTE

The "Volt" scenario examines the evolution of nuclear power and renewable energies according to economic opportunities. In this scenario, nuclear power remains central both in national production of electricity and export capacity, particularly to Germany, which is expected to face the shutdown of its coal plants. The scenario allows for a significant reduction of greenhouse gases. © RTE

Where are the controversies?

As since the beginning of the French nuclear program, it is the place of the atom in the French energy mix that is controversial to the point of relegating to second place the questions of production heat, insulation of buildings, conversion of the car fleet from oil to electricity. The government is responsible for this situation, which risks diverting public debate from its objectives. Nicolas Hulot indeed publicly announced last November that the goal of reducing the share of nuclear to 50% in 2025 yet enshrined in the law was not feasible and was postponed by a few years. EDF subsequently declared that it would not consider any closure (outside the Fessenheim power plant) before 2029. Finally, the two scenarios chosen for the debate are those with the least number of nuclear reactor closures (16 for Ampère, 9 for Volt horizon 2035). For the Climate Action Network (RAC) these scenarios involve leaving about twenty reactors in operation beyond fifty years, which poses security problems.

What are the objectives of the debate? public

For the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) there are four:

  • To inform the public about energy projects and issues.
  • To allow the expression of various actors: elected representatives, institutions, unions, associations, NGOs, consumers, residents
  • Enabling everyone to take cognizance of each other's positions and arguments
  • Enlighten the State by providing new ideas or reflections

What are the tools of public debate?

The National Commission of Public Debate will use all the consultation tools invented over the last twenty years

Meetings will be organized in all regions, with specific focus on territories with positive energy metropolises, rural territories. Meetings with target audiences: young people, consumers, businesses, artisans and traders, precarious energy are planned.

Finally an innovation: the G400. 400 people will be drawn from 15 March. These "ordinary citizens" will be kept informed of the exchanges. In June, they will have to decide on the topics that generated the most discussions.

Will the opinion of the citizens be listened to?

The government assures it: the definitive EPP will only be drafted in the second half of 2018 and will incorporate the contributions of the public debate. It has already happened that citizen proposals have modified projects. This is the case of Cigeo radioactive waste landfill center where the 17-person novice panel on the issue had imposed a pre-industrial phase on the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra). she had not planned.

Brussels presents its action plan on green finance

The European Commission presented Thursday its action plan to encourage green finance in Europe, a subject dear to French President Emmanuel Macron

Objective: to give new rules to European finance allowing the Union to take the lead on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, which aims to contain rising temperatures on our planet.

It is estimated that it would take about 180 billion euros d additional investment per year for the EU to achieve the 2030 targets set at the Paris Summit, including a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

This topic will be discussed at of a major conference in Brussels, attended by President Macron, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg on the morning of a summit eur opean, March 22.

This plan presented Thursday by the Vice-Presidents of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovksis and Jyrki Katainen announces a series of legislative actions until the end of 2019. With, in the first place, the launch of a work on a unified classification system to define the areas in which sustainable investments can have the greatest impact

In May, the Commission will make a legislative proposal defining "the principles and scope" of this typology, which It will then have to be adopted by the 28 EU Member States and the European Parliament.

In addition, the EU executive proposes in particular to create EU labels for green financial products, to clarify the obligation to Asset managers and institutional investors take into account sustainability aspects in the investment process.

This plan of the European executive intervenes just over a month after the publication of a report of a hundred pages, concocted by twenty experts chaired by Christian Thimann, special advisor to the president of the insurer French AXA

"It retains 80% of the proposals (of the report) but there remains a fuzziness, especially on the issue of transparency, which must imperatively be quickly lifted, because it is a prerequisite for the implementation of commitments, "Pascal Canfin, Director-General of WWF France, told AFP.

A Biodiversity Plan 2018-2024 is announced for March by the City of Paris

A new Plan Biodiversity 2018-2024 to preserve the fauna and flora of the French capital announced by the Mayor of Paris will be born in March. The plan will be debated in Paris Council in mid-March after extensive consultation of associations and elected officials. It will be divided into 30 actions aimed at " making Paris an exemplary city " in terms of preservation and development of biodiversity as well as sensitization of inhabitants. Among the major objectives: to increase the share of "permeable surfaces" outside buildings in the city from 30 to 50%, in this case to make the pavement and pavement surface, now covered with bitumen, appear again. Fifteen other concrete initiatives will be announced in March. The mayor of Paris has " a moral obligation, in terms of climate, to prevent biodiversity " said in front of the press Pénélope Komitès, Deputy Green Spaces of the Mayor PS Paris Anne Hidalgo .

Gaining biodiversity

The two large woods, the canals, embankments and cemeteries give the city of Paris a reservoir of biodiversity covering 16% of the territory. However, the city faces the scarcity of urban species, such as the emblematic sparrow which three out of four individuals have disappeared in 13 years, according to P. Komitès In addition to some gardens or wetlands creations, esplanade Saint-Louis in front of the Château de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement should see its central part converted into a "meadow" (now converted into an unused parking lot).

In addition, l a mayor of Paris has launched a call for projects February 28 for the protection and development of biodiversity, open until March 23, 2018.