At the end of more than two weeks of intense debate, the Senate is preparing to adopt on Tuesday June 28 at first reading a revised and corrected climate bill, with an ambition “Enhanced” according to the right-wing senatorial majority, the government deploring on the contrary many “Setbacks”. Supported by the Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, the “climate and resilience” bill reflects part of the 146 proposals of the Citizen’s Climate Convention that Emmanuel Macron retained. Ranging from the elimination of certain domestic overhead lines in the event of alternatives of less than 2 hours and 30 minutes by train to the ban on the rental of thermal strainer housing in 2028.
“The Senate has enriched the text quite a bit”, said Marta de Cidrac (LR) on Monday, one of the rapporteurs of the Committee on Regional Planning. “We were expected at the turn, we showed that we could be a force of proposal” on ecology, added his colleague Philippe Tabarot (LR). For the rapporteur, “The Senate has shown its desire to protect the environment, while being aware of economic issues and questions of social justice”. The senators reviewed the copy issued by the National Assembly on many strengths which risk being so many blocking points in the search for an agreement on a common text in a joint committee. Even if everyone shows their will to reach an agreement, each has also defined its “Red lines”.
The meeting of the joint committee has been set for July 12, leaving time for upstream work. If agreed, the text could be validated before the end of the month. In case of failure, the text would go back to a new reading in committee in the Assembly from July 19, LREM general rapporteur Jean-René Cazeneuve told AFP. The new examination in the hemicycle would await the start of the September school year. The deputy “Fears that the senators have succumbed to the fashion of green talking» avec “A very green speech” who wears “Some advances without real impact”, but hide “Setbacks” on all sections of the text.
The judgment is just as severe on the side of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, with an image of circumstance: “The senators worked on the bodywork, but by cutting up the engine”. And to regret “Many setbacks” sure “The heart of the text”, especially in low-emission zones (ZFE), nitrogenous fertilizers or even vegetarian menus in the canteen. “There are quite strong advances”, estimates for his part the leader of the environmental group of the Senate Ronan Dantec, which cites for example the lowering to 5.5% of VAT on train tickets.
However, environmentalists will vote against the text, because it still does not achieve the European objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. “The senators have registered the new European climate objective of -55% for 2030, without however providing the means to make this new ambition a reality in France”echoes Pierre Cannet, advocacy director at WWF France. It belongs “Some small steps forward”, but deplores “Significant setbacks”, as “The brakes placed on the development of renewable energies”.
The PS group was also moving towards a negative vote on Monday. The climate and resilience bill has a constitutional component. It is a question of including the climate in the Constitution, subject on which Emmanuel Macron wishes a referendum, but which stumbles on differences of formulation between deputies and senators. This revision project will come back on July 5 in the chamber of the Senate.
A few days ago, a draft report by the UN climate experts obtained by AFP once again sounded the alarm. Whatever the rate of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the devastating impacts of warming on nature and humanity will accelerate, assures the IPCC, and become painfully palpable well before 2050.