Grenelle update: the public gets a say but who will pay?

The Grenelle is now officially in Phase Two, or public consultation mode. The propositions hammered out by the working groups are now available online and organised into eight categories. You can submit your feedback and comments at the official Grenelle website under the separate category headings. Public debates will be held in around 15 French cities starting October 5th. The final phase will be the round table and the announcement of a policy package and plan of action. The president gets the final word on everything.

Here’s a video of British economist Nicholas Stern (speaking really good French!) at the climate change working group.

And here are some of the standout propositions:

– School canteens get 20 percent organic products by 2012
– Fuel tax on domestic aviation
– Lower speed limits on all roads and highways
– Eco-labels for all products
– Strict controls on pesticides
– Increase organic agriculture to 6 percent by 2010 (from current 1.8 percent)
– New norms for sustainable building and renovation of old buildings to meet these norms
– New economic indicators, like a green GDP

One of the big unanswered questions is finance. The proposed budget for the Environment Ministry in 2008 is 20.1 billion euros, up 2.6 percent from 2007. Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo has said that the Grenelle will get supplementary financing. But it’s not clear how Sarkozy – who has promised to reduce the ballooning public debt and boost purchasing power – is going to find the extra funds.


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