In the shadow of Elisabeth Borne, the discreet work of the General Secretariat for ecological planning
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne during a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the…
To give substance to the speech of Wednesday April 26, during which Elisabeth Borne raised the ecological transition to the rank of “second priority” for the “hundred days” mentioned by Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister can count on a discreet cog, created only in July 2022, the General Secretariat for Ecological Planning (SGPE). Because the direction given to government policy, which translates into a few measures, most of which are already known, and details of the timetable, was prepared with the SGPE. And it is to this same secretariat that falls the task of coordinating the policies carried out by the various ministries.
Before arriving at the final stage represented by the presentation of a “water plan”, announcements on the thermal renovation of buildings or support measures for the purchase of electric vehicles, how many appointments, consultations between the ministries and their cabinets, telephone calls to chiefs of staff or central administration, etc. supervised by SGPE experts. Additional proof of the role that the head of government wishes to entrust to him, the team led by Antoine Pellion, with an average age of around 35 – each with responsibility for a “programme”, climate, biodiversity, budget and financing, circular economy, industry, etc. –, will see in the coming weeks its workforce increase from fifteen to twenty-five members.
Every Monday morning, the SGPE, whose windows overlook the Esplanade des Invalides, in Paris, meets to take stock of the projects undertaken. On this day at the end of March, the agenda for the meeting at which The world was able to attend discusses the issue of transport, that of the decarbonization of buildings, without forgetting “a big meeting on the water” on the Prime Minister’s agenda. In the crosshairs also, the discussions with the Ministry of the Economy on green industry, sustainable public purchases, and, further on the agenda, Biodiversity Day (May 22) or the Nature Festival (May 24). And, already, the 2024 finance bill to be prepared.
A global vision
Around the table sit all the permanent staff of the SGPE and Elisabeth Borne’s transport adviser, Emmanuel Bossière, because this question will be debated at length and the arguments of the various ministries weighed. On the electrification of vehicles, the equation is delicate: how to increase the share of electric in the French fleet, the objective being two thirds in 2030, while electric vehicles weigh less than 15% today? “The question is how to achieve the objective by reconciling this with our industrial policy, without increasing the share of cheaper Chinese vehicles, while French manufacturers offer few vehicles and not at entry level?observes one of the participants. Bercy tried to play the war of position, hammering that the worst was to encourage the purchase of a Chinese car. We were able to advance the lines by presenting concrete figures”she adds.
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