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Final propositions of the French Citizens' Convention on Climate

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Final propositions of the French Citizens' Convention on Climate

21-06-2020

The Citizens’ Convention on Climate wound to a close this Sunday in Paris, after nine months of deliberation, with a strong call for a shift towards a low-carbon economy, with extensive changes in the transportation, commercial and industrial sectors. The 150 randomly selected citizens have also called for three referendums: two constitutional changes and one to introduce the crime of ecocide in the French penal code. With these measures, the Citizens’ Convention on Climate aims to achieve a reduction of at least 40% of France’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, based on the levels of 1990.

It is the first time in French history that a citizen participation process leads to binding outcomes, in the form of specific legislation that will now either be voted on by the Parliament or by all French citizens in a Referendum. This makes it one of the most ambitious examples in the world of involving citizens in managing the climate emergency.

For the full overview of measures in French, complete with detailed implementation guidelines and minority opinions, please refer to the website of the Citizens' Convention.

 

The Citizens‘ Convention on Climate calls for Referendum on:

1) Changing the preambule of the Constitution to add  “The reconciliation of the resulting rights, freedoms and principles must not compromise the preservation of the environment, the common heritage of mankind"

VOTE: Adopted 76%

2) Changing Article 1 of the Constitution: "The Republic guarantees the preservation of biodiversity, the environment and the fight against climate change.”

VOTE: Adopted 85%

3) The following propositions of the Convention:

  • Legislating on the crime of ecocide: To adopt a law that penalizes the crime of ecocide within the framework of the 9 planetary limits, and that includes the duty of vigilance and the crime of imprudence, whose implementation is guaranteed by the High Authority of Planetary Limits.

VOTE: Adopted 63,4%

 

All Proposed measures of the Citizens‘ Convention on Climate

i) Constitutional amendments:

- Amend the preamble of the Constitution with the addition: The reconciliation of the resulting rights, freedoms and principles must not compromise the preservation of the environment, the common heritage of mankind"

VOTE: adopted 58%

- Amendment of Article 1 of the Constitution: "The Republic guarantees the preservation of biodiversity, the environment and the fight against climate change.”

VOTE: adopted 81%

- Strengthening the monitoring of environmental policy: the aim of the members of the Convention is to give citizens a more prominent place in the monitoring mechanisms, to strengthen the effectiveness of existing bodies and to consider the creation of an "environmental defender". To this end, the members of the Convention are making several proposals: The possibility of class action law suits, better reporting, evaluation and control mechanisms.

VOTE: adopted 81%

- Reform of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE): The aim of the members of the Convention is to propose a reform of the CESE in order to respond to the lack of public confidence in the political institutions by relegating political action to a lower level of legitimacy. To this end, they propose to make the opinions of the CESE or of the citizens' bodies it steers more effective, visible and transparent and to involve citizens in decision-making. To achieve this, the members of the Convention have devised various methods: Introduction of mandates for randomly selected citizens and civil society, systematic consultation of the CESE and making its recommendations more binding.

VOTE: adopted 59%

 

1) Transportation & getting around

Developing other modes of transport than the private car

1. Encourage the use of soft or shared means of transport, particularly for commuting to and from work, by generalising and improving the sustainable mobility package provided for in the recent law on mobility guidelines.

2. Reduce incentives for the use of cars by reforming the Income Tax kilometre allowance system

3. Encourage the use of soft or shared means of transport

VOTE: adopted 96,4%

 

Designing public roads to allow for new ways of travelling

1. Create park and ride facilities

2. Banning city centres for the vehicles that emit the most greenhouse gases

3. Increase the amounts of the Bicycle Fund from €50 million to €200 million per year to finance cycle paths.

4. Generalize the development of reserved lanes for shared vehicles and public transport on highways and expressways.

VOTE: adopted 98,6%

 

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Highways and Expressways

1. Reduce speed on motorways to 110 km/h maximum

VOTE: adopted 59,7%

 

Creating the conditions for a strong return to the use of trains beyond high-speed tracks

1. Reduce VAT on train tickets from 10% to 5.5%

2. Generalise the measures already practised by some regions to create attractive pricing.

3. Develop a massive investment plan to modernize infrastructure, vehicles and stations to turn them into multimodal hubs (links with cars, coaches, bicycles, etc.).

VOTE: adopted 95,9%

 

Reducing the long-distance traffic of heavy goods vehicles that emit greenhouse gases by allowing a modal shift to rail or inland waterways

1. Developing sea (and river) freight transport “highways” on specific routes

2. Impose regular monitoring of eco-driving training for drivers 

3. Require truck manufacturers to adopt the same energy sector in their research and development.

4. Gradually phasing out tax advantages on diesel, in exchange for a strong compensation for carriers in the form of increased financial aids for the purchase of new, cleaner trucks to replace polluting trucks.

5. Encourage, through regulatory and tax obligations, partial deferral to other, less emitting means of freight transport

6. Require shippers to incorporate environmental clauses in their contracts.

7. Encouraging the transport of goods on short, local routes by modulating the VAT.

VOTE: adopted 97,3%

 

To reduce to zero the emissions of ships during their operations in ports (embarking and disembarking of passengers or goods)

1. Prohibit the use of polluting engines during stops in ports and harbours

2. Provide the means to supply electricity to ships in port in order to reduce emissions from the use of engines.

3. Acting on international regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

VOTE: adopted 95,9%

 

Acting on regulations and the transitioning to clean vehicles

1. Increase the bonus for vehicles that pollute less, in order to assist households and professionals in their development.

2. Strongly reinforcing the penalty on polluting vehicles and introducing weight as one of the criteria to be taken into account.

3. Prohibit from 2025 onwards, the marketing of new vehicles with high emissions; old vehicles may continue to be used in the same way as new ones.

4. Modifying taxes on insurance policies according to CO2 emissions of the vehicle in question to encourage clean vehicles.

5. Enable access to clean vehicles by developing long-term leasing

6. Offering zero-interest loans, with a government guarantee, for the purchase of a low-emission vehicle (i.e. one that is light and not too expensive)

7. Introduction of green stickers to be placed on license plates for the cleanest vehicles, which grants particular services: access to the city centre, parking spaces, etc.

8. Provide training for garages, and more broadly for the "oil" sector, to accompany the gradual transformation of the vehicle fleet towards new engines, fuels and systems.

VOTE: adopted 86,6%

 

Involve companies and administrations to rethink and organize the travel of their employees better

1. Reinforcing the use of mobility plans by making them compulsory for all companies and local authorities.

2. The Mobility Organising Authorities (AOM) can help to set up these mobility plans to support companies

3. Promote inter-company and intra-company plans (carpooling, employee pick-up by bus, bicycle, etc.) as part of mobility plans.

4. Promoting new ways of organizing work

VOTE: adopted 89,9%

 

To set up a single website, providing all the information on the transport systems and means of transport in a given area.

1. To set up a single portal that makes it possible to know at any time, quickly and simply, what means and systems exist in a given area for getting around.

2. Develop a project for the unification of transport tickets or multimodal cards

VOTE: adopted 95,8%

 

Include citizens in the governance of mobility at the local as well as the national level

1. Integrating citizens into mobility organising authorities at all levels (AOM)

VOTE: adopted 96,6%

 

Limiting the adverse effects of air travel

1. Adopt an enhanced eco-contribution per kilometre

2. Gradually organise the end of air traffic on domestic flights by 2025, only on routes where there is a low-carbon alternative that is satisfactory in terms of price and time (on a journey of less than 4 hours).

3. Prohibit the construction of new airports and the extension of existing ones.

4. Increasing fuel taxes for recreational aviation

5. Promoting the idea of a European eco-contribution

6. Ensuring that all emissions that cannot be eliminated are fully offset by carbon sinks.

7. Support, in the medium term, R&D in the development of a biofuel industry for aircraft.

VOTE: adopted 88,1%

 

2) Consumption:

Creating an obligation to disclose the carbon impact of products and services

1. Make it mandatory to display greenhouse gas emissions in retail and consumer places and in advertisements for brands.

2. Develop and then implement a carbon score on all consumer products and services.

VOTE: adopted 98,8%

 

Regulating advertising to reduce incentives for over-consumption

1. Effectively and efficiently prohibit the advertising of the products that emit the most greenhouse gases, in all types of advertising.

2. Regulate advertising to strongly limit the daily and non-chosen exposure to incentives to consume

3. Putting in place labels to encourage people to consume less.

VOTE: adopted 89,6%

 

Limit overpackaging and the use of single-use plastics by developing bulk buying, recycling and deposit in retail facilities

1. Gradually introduce an obligation to introduce bulk buying in all stores and impose a percentage on central buyers.

2. Gradual implementation of a glass deposit systems (washable and reusable) until a generalised implementation in 2025.

3. Promote the development of compostable bio-based packaging to ensure the transition before the end of single-use plastic packaging.

4. Replace a significant part of the Household Waste Disposal Tax (TEOM) by more fair and eco-responsible modalities.

VOTE: adopted 95,9%

 

Ensuring better implementation of government environmental policies and evaluating them to make them more effective

1. More effective and rapid monitoring and sanctioning of infringements of environmental regulations

2. Strengthen and centralize the evaluation and monitoring of government policies on the environment

VOTE: adopted 95,9%

 

Education, training and awareness-raising to enable responsible consumption:

1. Modifying the education programme to generalise education for the environment and sustainable development in the French school system

2. Strengthen environmental education and sustainable development by making it a cross-cutting task for teachers.

3. Raising the awareness of the entire French population by linking understanding of the climate emergency and actions to take.

VOTE: adopted 97,9%

 

3)  Living & Housing

Make comprehensive energetic renovation of buildings mandatory by 2040

1. Forcing homeowners and landlords to renovate their properties in a comprehensive manner

2. Require the replacement of oil and coal-fired boilers in new and renovated buildings by 2030.

3. Deploy a harmonized network of one-stop-shop public support services for households having to undertake renovations

4. Gradual system of aid packages for renovation, with loans and grants for the most needy

5. Train construction professionals to meet the demand for global renovation and ensure a transition of all building professions to eco-responsible practices.

VOTE: adopted 87,3%

 

Significantly limit energy consumption in public, private and industrial areas

1. To force public spaces and commercial and industry buildings to reduce their energy consumption through strong measures.

2. Make a major change in behaviour by encouraging individuals to reduce their energy consumption.

3. Encourage limiting the use of heating and air-conditioning in housing, public spaces and those open to the public, as well as in commercial and industry buildings (maximum average temperature of 19°, no air-conditioning below 25°).

VOTE: adopted 92%

 

Combating land degradation and urban sprawl by making life attractive in towns and villages

1. Define a restrictive envelope of a maximum number of hectares that can be developed, reducing by 2 the development of artificialised soils and make the PLUI and PLU (Local Urban Planning Strategy) conform to the SCOT (Scheme for Territorial Coherence) (instead of compatible).

2. Prohibit any development of land as long as commercial, artisanal or industrial rehabilitation or wasteland is possible within the existing urban area.

3. Take immediate enforcement measures to halt the development of space-intensive suburban commercial zones.

4. Firmly and definitively protect natural areas, suburban agricultural areas and suburban forests. Ensure sustainable management of all private and public forests. Ensure the creation of vegetable cultivation belts around the urban centres.

5. Facilitate the conversion of unoccupied developed land to other uses.

6. Facilitate requisitioning of vacant housing and offices

7. Facilitate the recovery and rehabilitation of wasteland, in particular by the possibility for municipalities to expropriate wasteland abandoned for 10 years or more.

8. Assess the potential for reversibility of buildings prior to demolition.

9.  Allow the construction of apartment buildings in suburban areas

10. Strengthen checks on compliance with the obligations to protect land and limit the consumption of non-urbanised land and impose criminal penalties for failure to comply with these obligations.

11. Raise awareness of the importance and value of more compact cities, and develop a new culture of collective housing.

12. Financing housing renovations in small communities

13. Making centres more attractive by revitalizing shops and keeping schools in rural areas

VOTE: Adopted with 99%

 

4) Production and work

Promoting more responsible production, developing repair, recycling and waste management facilities   

1. Design: Increasing product longevity and reducing pollution

2. Enforce the law on the prohibition of programmed obsolescence

3. Make it compulsory to make it possible to repair manufactured products that are sold in France (1), the availability of original spare parts for a defined period of time (2 ). Set up local repair facilities and workshops, and make after-sales services accessible (3)

4. Make recycling of all plastic objects mandatory from 2023, eliminate all single-use plastics from 2023 and increase recycling of other materials.

5. Strengthen and enforce regulations on waste from economic activities, household non-hazardous waste (NHW) and inert non-hazardous waste (INW)

VOTE: adopted 97,2%

       

Developing and Supporting Transition Innovation

1. By 2025, any financial aid for innovation must be part of a process moving away from a carbon-based model.

VOTE: adopted 98,6%

 

Organize and support the financing of the transformation of the production tools of companies within the framework of the ecological transition.

1. Regulate the use of regulated savings managed by CDC and banks to finance green investments - Evolve CDC's governance to support this rationale

2. Companies that distribute more than €10 million in annual dividends will contribute 4% of the financing effort each year and those with dividends of €10 million or less will contribute 2%.

3. Set up the financing arrangements by law or decree with a State loan dedicated to financing the transformation of companies.

VOTE: adopted 95,1%

 

Accompanying the reconversion of companies and the transformation of professions at regional level

1. Accompanying employees and companies through the transition

2. Create a new governance of jobs and skills transition at national and regional level

 VOTE: adopted 98,6%

 

Add a carbon footprint to the balance book of all structures that have to produce a balance sheet

1. Annualize reporting and extend it to all organizations - Scope 3 emissions - Penalty for non-achievement as a % of revenue

2. Broaden the reporting scope to the financial sector - Strengthen reporting obligations to the financial sector

3. Bonus for companies with a positive development - Making public aid conditional on a positive development of the greenhouse gas balance sheet

VOTE: adopted 95,2%

 

Strengthening environmental clauses in public procurement

1. Strengthening environmental clauses in public procurement

 VOTE: adopted 98%

 

Protection of ecosystems and biodiversity               

1. Protection des écosystèmes et de la biodiversité

VOTE: adopted 94,4%

 

Taking better account of import-related greenhouse gas emissions in Europe's pollutions      

1. Carbon adjustment at EU borders (based on carbon footprint) and consideration of redistribution issues to avoid burdening the least advantaged households

VOTE: adopted 97,7%

               

Production, storage and redistribution of energy for and by everyone

 1. Improvement of territorial/regional governance

2. Participation of citizens, local businesses, local associations and local authorities in RE projects

3. Development of self-consumption

VOTE: adopted 96,5%

 

Keeping pace with the evolution of digital technology to reduce its environmental impact

1.Keeping pace with the evolution of digital technology to reduce its environmental impact

VOTE: adopted 98%

 

5) Food sector

Moving the collective restaurant sector towards more virtuous practices

1. 1. To set up an investment premium for establishments to equip themselves, train staff, and conduct awareness campaigns, in order to achieve the objectives of the EGalim law.

2. Propose a bonus of 10 cts per meal for small organic and local canteens (less than 200 meals per day) to help them absorb the extra cost for the first 3 years of their transition.

3. Create an "observatory of the restaurant sector " with the aim of sharing good practices and monitoring the achievement of the objectives of the EGalim law.

4. Set up a control body to ensure the proper implementation of the EGalim law.

5. To encourage reflection on rewriting the decree of 30 September 2011 on the nutritional quality of meals served in school canteens.

6. Switch to a daily vegetarian choice in self-service restaurants from 2022 onwards and encourage single-menu restaurants to develop vegetarian menus.

7. Extend all the provisions of the EGalim law to private collective catering from 2025.

8. Extend the list of products eligible for the 50% threshold defined by the law to farmers in transition to organic farming and to products with low environmental costs.

9. Helping to structure the sectors so that they can recognise products in quality signs.

VOTE: adopted 93%

 

Making tripartite negotiations more transparent and fairer for farmers

1. Ensure the presence of the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) in the negotiations, make the method compulsory for all sectors and organise regular meetings at the inter-professional level, oblige food companies and central purchasing bodies to be transparent.

VOTE: adopted 98%

 

Developing short supply chains (local trade)

1. Use the public procurement lever to promote products from short, local and low environmental cost circuits, in the form of a "purchasing guide" to be sent to public purchasers.

VOTE: adopted 99%

 

Pursue efforts to reduce food waste in catering and at the individual level.

1. Pursuing efforts in collective catering

 VOTE: adopted 97%

 

Developing agro-ecological practices

1. Reach 50% of farms in agro-ecology by 2040

2. Inclusion in the law and the NSP: Developing organic farming (maintaining aid for conversion, restoring aid to maintain organic farming, having the cost of annual certification of the label borne by the State)

3. Nitrogen fertilizers: Increase the General Tax on Polluting Activities (TGAP)

4. Reduction in the use of pesticides with a ban on CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, retroproductive) products, reduction in the use of plant protection products by 50% by 2025 and a ban on the most environmentally damaging pesticides by 2035.

5. Inclusion in the law and the NHP: Helping to structure the crop sector (increased autonomy of the French animal population, 100% autonomy for human food in plant proteins, increased crop diversification in the CAP, implementation of the national Plant Protein Plan).

6. Inclusion in the law and the NSP: Helping to maintain permanent grasslands (avoid bare land as much as possible by setting up compulsory plant cover, remunerating farmers for the services they provide for carbon storage through their activities)

7. Inclusion in the law and the NHP: Prohibit the financing of the establishment of new livestock farms that do not respect the conditions of agroecology and low greenhouse gas emissions, support farmers in restructuring their livestock to improve the quality of production.

VOTE: adopted 98%

 

Reforming agricultural education and training

1. Reforming agricultural education and training: integrating the teaching of agroecology into the compulsory core curriculum, imposing internships on farms that apply agroecological methods, opening up continuing education on agroecological practices for all farmers, training technical advisers in agroecological practices.

 VOTE: adopted 99%

 

Maintaining France's ambitious position for the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) negotiations

1. Raise greening condition requirements levels

2. Transforming the allocation of aid per hectare into aid for agricultural assets

VOTE: adopted 97%

 

The CAP as a lever for transformation at national level

1. Establish a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the achievement of the climate performance of the National Strategic Plan (NSP)

2. To make the National Strategic Plan (NSP) compatible with the National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC), the National Biodiversity Strategy (SNB), the National Plan for Health and Environment (PNSE), the National Strategy to Combat Imported Deforestation (SNDI)

3. Integrate all the provisions concerning the development of agroecology into the National Strategic Plan (NSP).

 VOTE: adopted 99%

 

Encourage the development of a low-emission fishery.

1. Improving knowledge of fish stocks/displacement to better define quotas and eliminate overfishing

2. Continue efforts to limit fishing in fragile areas and for fragile stocks and strengthen controls on the ban on deep-sea fishing.

3. To develop rational and environmentally friendly aquaculture farms, in order to avoid fishing fish in their natural environment.

4. Protecting the oceans' capacity to store carbon, including by protecting whales and marine species.

5. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fishing, shipping and port activities by continuing the modernisation of the ship fleet towards green propulsion systems.

VOTE: adopted 99%

 

Reflecting on a model of trade policy for the future to encourage healthy food and low greenhouse gas emission agriculture in France

1. Renegotiate the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) at European level to incorporate the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement

2. Ask the French Government to defend a reform of European trade policy: include the precautionary principle in trade agreements, make compliance with the commitments of the Paris Agreement binding objectives, put an end to private arbitration tribunals, guarantee transparency and allow democratic control of negotiations.

3. Ask the French Government to defend positions at the WTO: take the Paris Agreement into consideration in trade negotiations, put in place sanctions for recalcitrant states, include environmental clauses in trade agreement negotiations.

VOTE: adopted 91%

 

Better information for consumers

1. Better inform consumers by strengthening communication around the PNNS and reforming the PNNS into PNNSC

2. Prohibit advertising of products banned by the PNNS

3. Design a new national food solidarity to enable low-income households to have access to sustainable food.

VOTE: adopted 99%

 

Regulating the production, import and use of processing aids and food additives

1. Inform consumers of the degree of processing of products, in particular through compulsory labelling and the introduction of an agro-food ethical charter that provides information on and qualifies technical auxiliaries (colorants,...) and food additives in terms of greenhouse gases. Providing rapid and compulsory information on food accidents.

2. Prohibit the importation of products that are composed of technical auxiliaries banned by the European Union.

3. Phasing out the use of technical auxiliaries and food additives within 5 years.

4. Taxing highly processed products with a high carbon footprint and low nutritional intake

5. To set up food vouchers for the poorest to be used in the AMAPs (Association for the Maintenance of Peasant Agriculture) or for organic products.

 VOTE: adopted 100%

 

Reforming the operation of labels

1. Reforming the functioning of labels by abolishing private labels and introducing a label for products derived from agro-ecological agriculture.

VOTE: adopted 98%

 

Legislating on the crime of ecocide

1. To adopt a law that penalizes the crime of ecocide within the framework of the 9 planetary limits, and that includes the duty of vigilance and the crime of imprudence, whose implementation is guaranteed by the High Authority of Planetary Limits.

VOTE: adopted 99% 

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