France live by nature

We now live on credit. May 5, 2022 marks Overtaking Day » France, or A history in which our country emits more greenhouse gases, catches more fish, cuts more trees, cultivates and makes more land than ecosystems can provide or absorb »according to Isabelle Otissier, CEO of WWF. Obviously, from this day forward, We are overexploiting all resourcesas you say. We overfish, cut down more trees, and make more land than we can recover ». Conversely, in an ecologically ideal world, this transgression should happen…December 31st.

To account for this fateful date, thenon Governmental Organization It was based on our ecological footprint, which measures the amount of land needed to ensure the production of energy and food resources for a given population and the absorption of waste generated [1]. Greenhouse gas emissions, natural concrete spaces, areas planted for food and clothing, forests cut down for construction or furniture, fish caught… In all these aspects, France lives outside the means of ecosystems. Thus, if the world’s population lived like us, it would take the equivalent of 2.9 Earths per year to maintain this level of consumption. ; The planetary average is currently 1.7 Earths.

So this ecological footprint can be reported over the course of a year: if the entire world lived like the French, in four months we spent all the resources the Earth could generate in one year. Hence the famous Overtaking Day, May 5, 2022. This day did not come so early in the yearsays Isabel Autiser. In 1961, it happened in France on September 26. » The rare periods when the gap did not widen coincided with economic recessions: in the 1970s, in the aftermath of the oil shock, then after 2008 and Mortgage.

In the Gir Garden, increased in Dijon (Cote d’Or), in 2020. © Roxanne Gautier / Reporter

Measures are not drastic enough ?

From there to saying that only under-growth can save us, there is only one step… that is to WWF Do not cross. The association prefers to talk about environmental planning, fashionable terminology. We looked at what would happen if the next government led a truly ambitious environmental policy »explains Pierre Canet, Advocacy Director at WWF.

20 drops Percentage of meat consumption, an increase of 25 % organic crops, development of bicycles and electric vehicles, manufacturing rate halved … The result – summarized in a report published Thursday, May 5 – turned out to be half figs, half grapes: If all our proposals are implemented, Overshoot Day, in 2027, will fall on May 30notes Pierre Canet. It certainly isn’t enough to respond to the environmental crisis, but it would be the first notable step forward in reducing our footprint. »

In 2019 the company’s engineers BL Evolution has done a similar thing, to stay below 1.5°C ». It has led to bolder measures, such as a ban on building individual homes, a limit of 32 square metres, or a thermal curfew so that the indoor temperature does not exceed 17 degrees Celsius at night. Not radical enough WWF ? We could have recommended a halt to meat consumption, and an immediate ban on heat compounds, but that wouldn’t be possible.Defends the environmental activist. The important thing is to start reversing the trend. »

L ‘non Governmental Organization He also highlights other benefits: According to his calculations, his planning project will prevent the early death of 28,000 people from air pollution, create or maintain 1.2 million jobs, or stop the decline of some endangered species, such as bluefin tuna, barn swallow or lynx Eurasian.

The WWF She also identified the cost of environmental inaction: thus, if the next government does nothing more, or if it is satisfied with implementing the commitments France has already made (National Low Carbon Strategy, Anti-Waste Law, Climate and Resilience), the overrun will remain, In 2027, very close to May 5th.

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