With the help of Excel tables and carbon budgets, the battle for numbers is raging around the future climate law. Presented yesterday in the Council of Ministers, the text, which takes up the proposals of the Citizens’ Convention at a discounted price, does not live up to its ambitions. The reduction target of 40 The% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is not achievable with the announced measures.
According to the project’s impact study, between half and two thirds “ pathway “it would be alone “ insured “. And again, this assessment is partial. In addition to the future text of the law, it adds up all the measures already taken and implemented by the government. If we focus only on the articles of the climate law, their effects are, in reality, minimal. The account is not there.
MEP Matthieu Orphelin wanted to prove it. The engineer, who has spent much of his career at theAdeme, the Ecological Transition Agency, estimated that the law, in its current version, would only prevent 13 million tons of CO2 per year (MtCO2), against 112 MtCO2/ year targeted. “ By consciously rejecting the most impactful measures of the Citizens’ Convention, the text has only a symbolic meaning “, he repented
Several opinions came to support his point. January 26 the National Council for Ecological Transition worried “ the insufficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions induced by this law “. As for the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, not particularly renowned for the acuteness of its positions, on January 27 it delivered an incisive report in which it underlined “ abuse of language “ of the government.
“ The business world doesn’t need public regulation ”
On February 8, in an open letter, published in particular on Reporter, 110 associations take over and bring the executive face to face with its new commitments. A few months ago France, in agreement with its European partners, revised its ambitions upwards. His goal is now to reduce by 55 % of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. But how will it get there if it is not already able to move towards a reduction of 40 % on the same horizon ?
Under the fire of criticism, the government tried to fight back. As the climate law seems largely insufficient, he decided to change the scope of the studies. He wanted to evaluate the effects of the measures adopted since the beginning of the five-year period, in 2017, taking into account the other laws already approved.
To do this, the Ministry of Ecological Transition commissioned a report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). BCG is a renowned multinational in the business world. 60 % of its customers are businesses of CAC 40. Among these we find large food groups such as Carrefour but also the world of advertising. The consulting firm also collaborated with employer organizations, the former of which, the Medef. In 2019, it ranked the pesticide company BASF like “ one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world “ and on several occasions his consultants have done so “ perfected the strategy “ car manufacturers providing advice in particular PFA, the platform that brings together the automotive industry in France. BCG it is also historical partner of aviation sector. In 2016 he drafted the new plan by Air FranceKLM. Furthermore, the CEO current of HOP, a subsidiary of Air France specializing in particular in short flights, he worked for BCG from 2000 to 2004.
Clearly its regular customers are the same ones who have struggled for months to dismantle the proposals of the Citizens’ Convention one by one. BCG it works hand-in-hand with the industrial lobbies that have waged a shadow war against random citizens. Medef demolished the crime of ecocide proposed by the Convention. The company BASF he criticized his “ populism “ and so are the automotive and aeronautical sectors they are mobilized against any form of restrictive regulation.
- Emmanuel Macron in front of the workers of the climate convention at the Palais d’Iéna, headquarters of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC), in Paris, 14 December 2020.
For years, BCG participates in this liberal approach e “ probusiness “. For the consulting firm, sustainable development will come first “ technological progress “ and of “ innovation “ more than the norm. In a study recent on green recovery, explains that companies are already at the forefront of the ecological transition. On another note, where he promotes carbon-free green aircraft, he spells it out “ industry needs to have a say in its future rather than being guided by a regulatory decision “.
“ They are at the heart of the new discursive business and government strategy, which states that the business world does not need public regulation. “, believes Clément Sénéchal of Greenpeace.
Because then the ministry turned to this actor ? He sees no paradox ? Asked by Reporter, reassures a member of the cabinet of Minister Barbara Pompili. “ BCG brings us interesting facts about the French low-carbon trajectory. Its study does not replace other bodies, which will also carry out their evaluation. It is a complementary approach, he continues. We don’t pay this study to claim good results. “
However, this relationship is, surprisingly, one of the most conciliatory with the government. Made public on February 10, the study concluded that the measures taken would be “ globally up to the 2030 target, subject to their full and proactive implementation “. The formula was picked up by the executive and widely cited by various media, including Agence France press.
A more detailed reading shows, however, that this conclusion is somewhat quick and not necessarily consistent with the rest of the report. Of the 115 MtCO2/ year to be reduced, only the decrease of 21 million tons “ it probably seems affected “, while 57 Mt “ is probably affected “ and 29 Mt “ it seems difficult to achieve “, is written.
“ In a situation of conflict of interest “
For Deputy Delphine Batho, “ the government boasted of a phrase that is not even indicative of the study. It is a political communication strategy “, he said, before denouncing “ a completely lunar and unprecedented situation: the solicitation of this company is overwhelming. BCG works for many clients who are not interested in the ecological transformation of France “.
With many of his colleagues, the deputy challenged the executive in a letter. For them, BCG would be “ in a conflict of interest “ and should not have been appointed by the ministry. “ Because the government does not mobilize its services instead ? however, it is the role of the administration. They are the ones who have the experience ! »He defends the deputy, flanked by Reporter.
Several union officials also expressed their indignation. Under Emmanuel Macron, the use of private firms increased significantly. Recently, BCG he also advised French health policy in the face of Covid-19. Second Bastamag, its consultants have supported and encouraged the reduction of staff numbers and the submission of the hospital to management constraints.
Public service unions CGT is FSU ask yourself the cost of this study, the amount of which has not been disclosed. “ While we are implementing austerity policies, job and resource cuts, the government once again favors the private sector and entrusts our missions. ” , lets himself be carried away by Sébastien Hesse CGT.
A general misunderstanding remains. Because the High Council for the Climate was not commissioned ? Yet this is its role. Created in 2018, this advisory body brings together numerous climatologists and scientists. A consensus emerges around his high degree of competence and his neutrality.
Contacted by Reportersaid its executive director, Olivier Fontan “ they have not received any calls from the government “. His critical reports of Emmanuel Macron’s policies would have dissuaded the government from soliciting him ? Last summer, the High Council for the climate judged “ marginal “ is “ insufficient “ government climate action. This fall, it warned of the environmental consequences of 5G.
Faced with the silence of the executive, the High Council for the climate has nevertheless decided to accept the proposed climate law. “ We will issue an opinion within the next few weeks “, assures Olivier Fontan. Unlike that of BCG, it is not certain that this opinion is conciliatory.
Reporter tried to contact BCG, but the latter refused any interviews. “ We have no further comments to make “, he replied via email.
Source: Gaspard d’Allens for Reporter
Drawing © Sanaga/Reporter
Photo: © Thibault Camus / Swimming pool /AFP