Latest French statistics on environment


This is my 25th post on this blog and I would like to work for the occasion on a French topic. The INSEE (website), the French statistics agency, published in January the results of a poll dedicated to the place of environmental concerns for French. It also gives an idea of our habits related to environmental concerns and our energy consumption patterns.

The environment protection is important for French people. By reading the page on the INSEE website, I can draw several conclusions. There are some good news and some quite bad. Anyway, we see here that ecological ideas and practices are getting more and more widespread in France.


First, when people have the possibility to sort out waste, most of them do it. Between 1998 and 2005, three times more people have had access to this kind of facilities. In 1998, only 23 percent could, and in 2005 this proportion was of more than 61 percent. Of these people, nine out of ten declare they are sorting out their waste. This is indeed good news.

The second part of these poll results concern electricity use. 84 percent of French people are taking care of their daily electricity consumption. However, when buying an electrical appliance less than half take into account the electricity consumption it will lead to. When changing light bulbs, around 50 percent are switching to energy saving light bulb.

The main problem is that the savings done by buying efficient appliances is erased by the electricity consumption of new appliances. Halogen lamps use is still widespread and this is truly problematic as they are often needing a lot of energy to operate. Furthermore halogens lamp convert mostly the electricity in heat when it should convert it into light. Thankfully, LED-based lightning with its high efficiency is becoming more and more popular.

The third part of the poll was on water use. Almost 75 percent of French people are taking care of their consumption. This is indeed good news.

The main concerns I had while reading the INSEE page was on transportation issues. Even if for the first time since the 1974 the car use decreased (this is due to the high prices of oil that year) still 80 percent of households rely mostly on their car for their transportation needs. The reason often quoted by people by such a fact is the lack of public transportation systems or their lack of comfort. So, to reduce the amount of cars would go by improving the comfort of public transportation system as well as in an increase of offered possibilities. Another important point is in the change of habits. Still too much people use their car when doing less than two kilometres.

To read more on the electricity use in France, please check out the article I previously wrote.

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