One year after the Grenelle on the Environment, what’s the real impact of changes which were decided in an unprecedented coming together of stakeholders across the board from NGOs and unions to business and industry to local authorities. Well, we lost some proposals, such as the carbon tax and the freeze on building new highways. A total of 19 billion euros have been earmarked for 2009-2011 to finance what’s left. The two main items which have come into force already are the “bonus-malus” on cars whereby consumers buying a new car which emits more than 160 g of CO2 per kilometer are penalized with a tax ranging from 200 euros to 2600 euros. Those who own or purchase a car which emits less than 130 g of CO2 per kilometre get a rebate of between 200 and 1000 euros. On the plus side, this has led to 40 percent increase in sales of smaller, lower carbon vehicles, but it has left the state out of pocket by 140 million euros. The law on GM crops was voted in May, but it failed to clarify the crucial issue of what is an acceptable threshold of dissemination of GM crops which could contaminate non-GM crops.
The law on the Grenelle comes up for debate in parliament on October 6, and barring a disaster, these are the things expected to get through:
– Tighening of entry criteria for the “bonus-malus” – only vehicles emitting less than 125 g of CO2 per kilometre will qualify. The tax on polluting vehicles could be extended to become an annual tax.
– A 15 percent decrease in the volume of non-recycled household waste by 2012
– From 2009, a zero interest loan of up to 30,000 euros for eco-renovation
– Increased emphasis on train transport: By 2030, an additional 4,500 kilometres of high-speed train lines are envisaged. Public transport in cities will get 2.5 billion for development.
– Tax on lorry transport – All lorries of 12 tonnes or more from 2009 will have to pay a tax calculated on the basis of kilometres driven.
– Reduction by 50 percent of pesticide use within the next 10 years. 53 molecules will be withdrawn from the market between now and 2010.
via Le Parisien