Why the Grenelle is a disappointment


jean-louis-borlooOn October 2007, the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced after weeks of talks an important series of measures to make France a more sustainable country.

This was the Grenelle de l’Environnement. But after months, only one conclusion comes to mind: the Grenelle is a disappointment, and this even with the billions of investments expected by 2020.

Indeed, the energy and environment Minister, Mr. Jean-Louis Borloo(above) is nowhere to be seen and there have been no major announcements that would look like a green New Deal.

For the past few weeks many countries pledged to create jobs while becoming more sustainable. Here is a non exhaustive list:

First and foremost, the United States‘ new President launched a series of measures that are due to bring major changes to the country.

The new Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu will have nearly $100 billion at his disposal  to increase energy efficiency and the importance of renewables as well as other measures.

Similarly, South Korea plans to invest 38 billion USD (28 billion €) over the next four years.

These investments are due to create a million jobs (to be compared with a total population of 50 million) in renewable energies, efficiency and other environmentally friendly solutions. Learn out more.

Japan is also willing to create a million jobs (source) with environmentally friendly solutions.

The United Kingdom and Australia (alongside with the United States) will insulate millions of housings in order to create jobs and cut greenhouse gases emissions. This was the subject of yesterday’s article.

It is high time for France to stop haggling about 1,000 projects to relaunch the economy with only 26 billion euros.

A lot of them are not congruent with the tenets of sustainable development: France doesn’t need new roads or highways.

Such sums would be better allocated to home insulation (twenty millions housings have to be insulated) or to renewable energy.

At the beginning of the Grenelle, Mr. Sarkozy wanted to become a world leader on climate change mitigation. Al Gore noted on that occasion that he wanted a Grenelle mondial.

Now, things have changed a lot and France can only become a follower. What a pity !

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