Environment

Citizen's panel slams French government response to reducing emissions

The Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat was set up to offer proposals on how to help the government reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat was set up to offer proposals on how to help the government reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. AFP/File

France's Citizens' Climate Convention has given the government a woeful score for its "unambitious" response towards recommendations on reining in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, giving President Emmanuel Macron's administration an overall mark of 3.7 out of 10 in a final vote on Sunday.  

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Meeting for the last time this weekend via videoconference, the 150-member CCC was asked to assess if the government response to its proposals would make it possible to achieve the emissions reduction target of 40 percent before 2030.

The panel's response was a clear indictment, with an average score of 2.5 out of 10.

"This is disappointing," CCC member Benoit Baubry told Franceinfo radio. "This climate reduction bill is not ambitious enough, and does not meet our recommendations.

"We call upon MPs to help us put new amendments in place in order to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible."

The CCC also returned below average scores on the other main topics on which it has been working since 2019. The theme “housing" obtained an average of 3.4 out of 10, “production and work", "food" and "transport" 3.7 each, “consumption of natural resources" 4 and the proposals on governance 4.1.

Of the 150 citizens initially chosen at random, 119 were registered for the final vote.

They also discussed the lessons learned from their experience, which has been described as an unprecedented exercise in participatory democracy.

Implementation

The government says 75 of the CCC’s proposals have been implemented and 71 are in the process of being implemented. 

Some of them have found their way into the stimulus plan or the budget, others into decrees and about 40 into the climate and resilience bill, which will be debated in parliament at the end of March. 

France has committed itself to reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and the draft law – aimed at rolling out 146 proposals by the citizens – is how the government hopes to fulfil its promises.

Last week France's High Council on Climate, another review body set up by Macron, added to criticism of the government’s climate bill, which it said was weak and insufficient.

The council warned France would fail to meet its Paris Agreement targets under the bill’s existing form.

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