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“Opposing emission reduction and adaptation to climate change makes as little sense as opposing prevention and health care”


VSChristophe Béchu, Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, recently announced that his administration was going to prepare a scenario for adapting our country to climate change for a warming of 4 degrees.

This announcement aroused numerous criticisms in the name of the idea that this would amount to giving up the threshold of 2 degrees maximum of warming provided for by the Paris agreement.

Although opposed to the policy of the current government in many areas, and particularly in the fight against climate change, we consider for our part that such a scenario is necessary.

Our country has indeed taken a huge delay not only in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions but also in adapting to climate change which, in any case, is at work and will continue. The 2°C maximum threshold set by the 2015 Paris Agreement is an average value. But all the experts say it: global warming will be more marked in France than elsewhere. In 2020, this warming was already 1.7 degrees with us compared to 1900, according to Météo-France.

The basis for a collective debate

Moreover, respecting the trajectory of the Paris agreements depends only to a limited extent on the efforts carried out in France and even in Europe. Although it has a major historical responsibility for global warming, Europe now produces less than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The significant difficulties encountered during the last COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh and the resurgence of geopolitical tensions hardly encourage optimism.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Climate: government launches work on adaptation to presumed warming of 2° C or 4° C

In this context, establishing a 4°C scenario would be a first step in becoming aware of the real challenges we face. It will in fact make it possible to better measure the extent of the changes to be undertaken now, in each territory. It should serve as the basis for an in-depth collective debate on the adaptation policies to be implemented so that they contribute to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and our other environmental impacts and make it possible to help the most threatened and the weakest people.

It is indeed a question of getting (finally) in working order to transform all our infrastructures, our agriculture, our cities, our coastal regions, our mountain territories, our regulations, our public services… to adapt them to the disorders of already foreseeable and to those which could possibly occur.

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