by Alex in Toulouse
Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 11:32:33 AM EST
The RAC (Réseau Action Climat - Climate Action Network) has issued a communiqué suggesting 10 simple measures to implement in the programs of all democratic parties enrolled in the 2007 presidential elections.
Link in French.
Measures listed below the fold, with some details added by your humble servant (but I got lazy, so it's best you all just learn French and read the PDF linked to below).
For more detailed descriptions (costs of measures, political possibilities, current regulations, etc etc) read the accompanying PDF file (in French).
1. Thermic regulation in new and old lodgings for heating and sanitary hot water (energy coming from renewables not targetted)
Lodgings represent 19% of France's greenhouse gases emissions.
With 300 000 new lodgings built every year, the ratio of renewal for all lodgings is less than 1% per year. Thus the majority of lodgings which will exist in 2050 has already been built and cannot be ignored: old lodgings have to be included in thermic regulation.
Heating in itself represents an average consumption of 120 kWh/m2/year in new lodgings, vs 330 for old ones => the measure aimes at bringing this down to 50 kWh/m2/year for heating (and 15 for sanitary hot water in offices, 30 for residential lodgings).
Measures for old lodgings can be financed through tax reductions, low interest loans etc.
Estimated savings: 34 million petrol-equivalent-tons per year.
2. General lowering of speed limits on roads.
A lowering of 10km/h at every different road level (highway and lower).
Estimated savings: 1.25 million tons of fuel per year, and 4 million tons of C02 (which represents 3% of the transport sector's current emissions, a sector which itself 26% of France's emissions)
3. Transfer funds collected for parking spaces to local authorities, with the obligation of using those funds to finance carbon-sober public transportation modes, cyclist paths, etc
This is a measure that needs to be placed in context: in a current decentralisation frenzy, the State will no longer give 1/7th of the amounts required for public transport projects in localities.
For info, CO2 emissions in town, by transportation mode:
Walking, roller, bicycle: 0g CO2/km
Tramway, Subway : < 10 g CO2/km
Bus: average 75g CO2/km
Two-wheel motorized vehicles: 100 g CO2/km
Car: 175g CO2/km
Taking your bicycle for all your short distance travels in town, represents an average of 500 kg to 1 ton of C02 saved by cyclist, per year.
For 100 people working in a company with car parking space, the C02 emissions on their home-work-home travels is an average of 144 tons. For 100 people working in a company with no car parking, this average goes down to 96 tons.
4. Reduce unitary consumption of vehicles
The EU has signed a non-binding accord with manufacturers stating that in 2008 new vehicles will have to limit their emissions to 140g of CO2 per km. A (binding) directive is needed to limit emissions to 120g, and to also implicate two-wheel and utility vehicles (that so far are kept out of the non-binding accord)
Estimate savings: on transportation alone, if the 120g mark is reached, once the entire vehicle fleet is renewed (15 years), savings of 48 million equivalent tons of CO2 per year (with 24 million after 7 years).
5. Make strict energy efficiency a requirement for all appliances.
In Canada and the USA, 15 to 20 different types of appliances are subject to strict energy efficiency regulations. For now in the EU only fridges, freezers, and neon tubes are concerned!
Estimated savings (no conversion into C02 is possible): 22.1 TWh in France alone, and only in the residential sector (not offices).
6. Regulation against excess nitrogen
In France Agriculture represents about 19% of all emissions. One culprit among others: Nitrous Oxide (N20) is the most potent gas emitted by the industry, and is released primarily (ie. at 90%) during fertilization (1/3rd by animal waste, 2/3rs by mineral fertilizers).
This measure aims at giving financial bonuses to farmers releasing little nitrogen, and taxing those who release too much. It would also have a lot of parallel effects (reducing water pollution etc).
Estimated savings: does not include manufacturing, 24 million equivalent tons of CO2 per year.
7. Regulation on advertising that promotes energy-hungry products
According to a Nov. 2005 law, car-selling shops will now have to indicate clearly the emissions of their cars.
This measure aims at furthering this law by also requiring that all advertising for cars should now also state clearly emission levels for the product being advertised.
8. Train professionals in climate change issues
I won't go into too much detail here, but the idea is that part of the problem is that professionals in the construction sector, the transport sector, the agricultural sector etc etc, are simply not trained to understand climate issues, and that from now on some types of diplomas/cursii should require such training.
9. Stop public funding of fossil fuel energies (redirect this funding to carbon-sober projects)
Well, in 2005 the World Bank financed 2.1 billion dollars of fossil-fuel projects, vs 0.2 billion renewable energy projects, etc etc (I'm getting too lazy to translate the key points of the PDF document, and Jérôme certainly already knows a lot on this issue and can do it for me).
Estimated savings: all we know is that the fossil-fuel projects financed by the World Bank over the past 12 years have amounted to emissions of 43.4 billion tons of CO2.
10. Reform the fiscality of ecology
French fiscality predates climate change and global warming, and is thus not made to incite emission reductions.
All the measures that go in here are quite classic:
Kerosene tax, no more subsidizing low-cost operators, etc
One note: fuel required to travel 100km costs twice less in 2004 than it did in 1960, and electricity costs less in 2004 than it did in 1978 ... meaniwhile the price of a regular-traveller coupon on the Paris subway has doubled (inflation substracted) from 1975 to 2004. It is thus urgent that this be inversed. Tax tax tax aerial transport and road delivery (and lower prices of public transport?)
Estimated savings: for a 40 euro tax per ton of C02, 16% reductions were calculated (82 million equivalent tons of CO2).