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The "Climate law" : too shallow, too late?

On August 22, 2021 was published on Légifrance the law n°2021-1104 "fighting against climate change and strengthening resilience to its effects". Abbreviated as the "Climate Law", it allows a better understanding of the national strategy to participate in the fight against climate change. But are the ambition and provisions of the law up to the task? A brief review of some of the points of this law.

Immediate changes

As you can read, one of the provisions is the granting of additional powers to mayors, in order to fight against night-time visual pollution and abusive consumption of electricity. However, the mayor already had such powers under articles L.583-1 to L.583-4 of the Environmental Code, as well as the related regulatory provisions. The addition of the Climate Law concerns advertising screens, which were not covered until now. The regulation is therefore expanded, but if it follows what exists in terms of illuminated signs, then we will always see highly illuminated windows until late at night.

Another point to note is the end of the construction of shopping centers in non-urban areas. If the motivation for reducing the amount of space and land artificialisation is clear here, it should be noted that the addition to article L.151-5 of the Urban Planning Code, in its new wording, makes this extension prohibited, unless "the capacity to develop and build is already mobilised in the urbanised areas". In which case, rest assured, the modification of urban planning documents will still be necessary. Moreover, the prohibited shopping centers are those of more than 10,000m ² (Article 215 of the Climate Law), but no mention is made of large warehouses or storage space, including those of online sales platforms. To be continued.

In the near, and not-so-near future

Now, let's take a look at the legislative developments that will change economic life in the future, but which will take effect at various times.

Obviously, one of the major points of discussion was the closure of air routes if there is a train providing the same route within a reasonable time. In addition to creating a threshold effect, this provision will ultimately eliminate a limited number of routes, even if they are very busy. For example, the Toulouse-Lyon or Toulouse-Marseille air routes will be maintained, because of the lack of train alternative.

What you notice in the left-hand panel is probably the interest for the energy consumption problem that is the housing in France. By 2028, housing classified as F and G will be prohibited from being rented. But it is to know that the middle classes of housing in France are D and E (58% of the park, data from the Ministry of Energy Transition and Solidarity of September 2020). However, for the prohibition of renting class E housing, it would have to wait until 2034, hence repelling this topic to much later than it might be suitable.

Summary of that light overview

What emerges from this "Climate law" is a willingness to act, but a provision of means that are in fact somewhat limited. The action for the ecological transition is an immediate issue that needs to be carried out as soon as possible in order, on the one hand, to remain in agreement with the various international commitments, and on the other hand to ensure that everyone can live in decent conditions. We will see if this evolution will be sufficient, as well as the Conference of the Parties n°26 which took place in Glasgow, Scotland, between October 28 and November 12, 2021 (to be followed in a following blog post).



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