Climate: the government wants to prepare France for +4°C


Posted 23 Feb. 2023 at 06:29 PM France must be ready to face a global…

Climate: the government wants to prepare France for +4°C

Climate: the government wants to prepare France for +4°C

Posted 23 Feb. 2023 at 06:29 PM

France must be ready to face a global warming of +4°C by the end of the century. After raising the subject a few weeks ago during a conference, then on “France Info” on Wednesday, the Minister for Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, formalized the approach this Thursday.

He set up the “Ministerial Steering Committee on Adaptation to Climate Change”, which he asked to work on two reference scenarios: one based on a warming of 2°C and the other of 4°C.

“We don’t live under a bell”

This is the first time that the government has publicly considered that France does not respect the Paris agreements. “Everyone continues to work on how to mitigate the warming. But we do not live under glass, other countries continue to have slopes that do not correspond to the Paris agreements, ”we insist in his entourage. “All decisions that will have a long-term impact on heavy infrastructure, energy production for example, must be adapted to the different possible scenarios”.

The latest report by IPCC experts itself referred to the need to plan coping strategies . Because if the policies undertaken or announced to date in the world do not change, global warming will reach 3.2°C at the end of the century (compared to the pre-industrial era), and not 2.7°C as envisaged. by the Paris agreement. “As the warming in France is higher than the planetary average, the unfavorable scenario would result in our country by +4°C”, explains the ministerial adviser.

“Preparing for this is not wishing for it, on the contrary it is coming out of denial! insisted Christophe Béchu on Wednesday. This did not prevent the opposition from being ironic on social networks: several LFI deputies reacted strongly to the minister’s statements. “Béchu explains to us quietly that the government does not intend to act and that we are going to reach 4°C? asked Danielle Simonnet, LFI deputy for the 20th arrondissement of Paris. Not to mention the hundreds of messages posted by environmental activists.

New strategy

The IPCC scientists rather applauded the approach. “Nobody wants that. But it would be suicidal not to consider this scenario,” reacted François Gemenne, co-author of his latest report. Climatologist Christophe Cassou also deemed it “coherent to anticipate and prepare for the worst […] while keeping the objectives ambitious so as not to achieve it”.

Consistent! Anticipating/preparing for the worst, or in any case for the realm of impacting possibilities, is a duty, while keeping ambitious objectives so as not to achieve it.

— Christophe Cassou (@cassouman40) January 30, 2023

Concretely, the committee set up on Thursday will now, with the ministries concerned, decline the consequences of the two scenarios envisaged, so as to define a new strategy for adapting to global warming.

“At 4°C, two-thirds of the ski resorts will lack snow in the Alps. At 4°C, there will be five times more drought and much more intense heat waves. It is also 1m20 of increase in water rise in the second half of the century”, insisted the minister on Wednesday on France Info, evoking the need to assess the consequences “on investments, standards, soils or even on the water “.

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