Grenelle wraps up this week; new study says peak oil was 2006

The Grenelle enters its final phase this week with a round table scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, which will culminate in the announcement of around 20 measures which will define France’s environment policy in the coming years. NGOs have been highly vocal in the past week to exert maximum pressure ahead of the final round. Nicolas Hulot, in an interview in Le Figaro magazine at the weekend, complained that: “There is not the rupture that we hoped for. There are not the propositions that we expected to structure tax policy and agriculture.” Hulot, founder and president of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot , is a former television presenter turned environmentalist who is immensely popular in France. During this year’s presidential campaign, he drew up an “Ecological Pact” which was signed by five of the 12 presidential candidates, including President Nicolas Sarkozy. Yannick Jadot, director of campaigns for Greenpeace France and spokesman for the Alliance pour la planète, the main umbrella grouping of NGOs in the Grenelle, told RTL radio today that his main worry was the fact that the government had not revealed its any of its positions for the final round of negotiations.

The Alliance has called on the public to turn out the lights for five minutes on Tuesday evening to send a powerful signal to the government on the eve of the Grenelle.

Meanwhile, German-based Energy Watch Group will release a new study in London today, according to the Guardian, saying that global oil production peaked in 2006, much earlier than most experts had expected. The report predicts that production will now fall by 7 percent a year and warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will provoke wars and social unrest. The report’s author, Joerg Schindler, said its most alarming finding was the steep decline in oil production after its peak, which he says is now behind us. The results are in contrast to projections from the International Energy Agency, which says there is little reason to worry about oil supplies at present. “The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life,” Schindler warned. Oil prices set new records last week, finishing on Friday at $90 a barrel.


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