“In the face of climate change, we continue to manage the crisis, but it is not enough.”

How much has the climate in France changed?

Since 1900, the global temperature has warmed by 1.1°C. For the French metropolitan area, the temperature is 1.7°C. Some parts of France are warming even faster. This has resulted in milder winters, much earlier springs, and hotter, drier and longer summers. The sea level is rising faster and faster, especially when the ice melts, the snow cover on the mountains is decreasing, species are migrating north, others have migrated, such as the tiger mosquito.

France’s forests are in a very bad state due to drought and agriculture is badly affected. This year, France suffered from late frosts, hail, droughts, storms, heat waves, etc. These natural disasters directly affect livestock production. We also note that for forty years the date of harvest has been counted one month in advance. Global warming also has consequences for housing, millions of whom are affected by shrinkage-swelling of clay that causes cracks due to drought.

What are the solutions?

It is no longer just a question of response, but simply treating the symptoms. Like a chronic disease, we too can manage to live with current climate change. In France there are a number of public policies at the national, regional and local levels, but they essentially allow to limit the level of risk in risky areas.

Currently, we are still managing crises or hedging. It’s not enough. There is a need to restructure activities and territories and move from “incremental”, piecemeal, to “transitional” adaptation, which will attack the roots of vulnerability.


For example, in agriculture, this assumes different production: consider farmer training, land use and phytosanitary products, subsidies and aid, access to water, modalities organized according to consumer preferences, etc.

Know that most of these conversions – as the IPCC has demonstrated: provide a co-benefit in welfare, health or even pollution reduction. However, we must pay attention to “bad adaptations”, solutions, which are often technical, or that will release a lot of carbon, such as desalination of seawater or basins that prevent water from seeping in. land, or unsustainable. In the long term. Installing a water cannon does not allow for sustainable mountain operations.

Senator Ronan Dantec’s report, effective since 2019, makes it very clear: in the territories, we will have to develop technical, legal, behavioral, political and social solutions. association on a case-by-case basis. Nature-based solutions are also interesting. For example, the green and blue frames include the planting of vegetation corridors or restoration of hydraulic corridors, floodplains or peatlands.

Right. Health, hospitals and access to doctors: we see problems during heat waves. It has to do with schools because buildings have to be adapted, it has to do with agriculture, industry, energy. And the cultural heritage, many monuments are exposed to high temperatures and sea level rise.

All sets are related. Foreign affairs is because a certain subject requires international cooperation, for example fishing. So does the Department of the Armed Forces because many military bases are located in climate change territories such as small islands at risk of being submerged.

The management of this adaptation must be integrated into ecological and territorial planning. It is an answer to the challenges of transforming the French organization of space: where do we put roads, rails, harbors, how do we think about planning, architecture town architecture, etc.? It will therefore be necessary to redeploy occupations, taxes, and consider how tomorrow’s Social Security and pension systems will work in the face of climate change.

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