France lives by nature

We now live on credit. May 5, 2022 marks exceed day » of France, or the date when our country emitted more greenhouse gases, caught more fish, felled more trees, cultivated and emphasized more land than ecosystems are able to supply or absorb »according to Isabelle Autissier, president of WWF. It is clear, from this day forward, we overuse all resourcesshe says. We overfish, we fell too many trees, we artificialize more spaces than we restore ». Conversely, in an ecologically perfect world, this day of transgression should occur … December 31st.

To calculate this fateful dateNGO was based on our ecological footprint, which measures the area of ​​land needed to ensure the production of energy and food for a given population and to absorb the waste generated [1]. Greenhouse gas emissions, natural concrete spaces, cultivated areas for food and clothing, forests cut down for construction or furniture, fish caught … In all these aspects, France lives outside the possibilities of ecosystems. So if the people of the world lived like us, it would take the equivalent of 2.9 Earths a year to maintain this level of consumption. ; the planetary average is currently 1.7 Earths.

This ecological footprint can therefore be reported over a year: If the whole world lived like the French, in four months we would have used all the resources that the Earth can generate in one year. Hence this famous day of transgression, May 5, 2022. This day has never come so early in the yearsays Isabelle Autissier. In 1961, it took place in France on September 26th. » The rare periods when the gap did not widen correspond to economic recessions: in the 1970s after the oil shock, then after 2008 and subprime.

In the garden of Gear, a zad in Dijon (Côte-d’or), in 2020. © Roxanne Gauthier / Reporter

Do not take drastic enough action ?

From there to saying that only outgrowth can save us, there is only one step … that WWF does not cross. The association prefers to talk about ecological planning, fashionable terminology. We looked at what would happen if the next government pursued a truly ambitious environmental policy »explains Pierre Canet, Advocacy Director for WWF.

20 drops % of meat consumption, increase of 25 % of organic crops, development of bicycles and electric vehicles, halving the rate of artificialization … The result – summarized in a report published on Thursday 5 May – turns out to be half fig half grape: If all our proposals were implemented, the day of the transgression would come, in 2027, on 30 Maynotes Pierre Canet. It is certainly insufficient to respond to the ecological crisis, but it would be a first notable step forward in reducing our footprint. »

In 2019, the company’s engineers BL evolution had done similar work, to stay below 1.5 ° C ». They led to much more daring measures, such as banning the construction of individual houses, one place per. per capita limited to 32 m² or a thermal exit ban so that the indoor temperature does not exceed 17 ° C at night. Not radical enough WWF ? We could have recommended stopping the consumption of meat, an immediate ban on thermal vehicles, but that would not be possible.defends the environmental activist. The important thing is to start reversing the trend. »

L ‘NGO also highlights other benefits: according to his calculations, his planning project would prevent the premature death of 28,000 people due to air pollution, create or maintain 1.2 million jobs, or halt the decline of certain endangered species, such as bluefin tuna, barn swallows or Eurasian lynx.

that WWF also quantified the cost of ecological passivity: if the next government does nothing more, or if it is satisfied with implementing the commitments already made by France (national low-carbon strategy, anti-waste legislation, climate and resilience), the day of the exceedance will remain, in 2027, dramatically close to 5 May.

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