On Wednesday 20th July, the French Ecology Minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, unveiled France’s climate change adaptation plan. Presented as a “European first”, it has a budget of €171 million.
Intended to be a major anticipation programme, it is based on the models developed by the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace and Météo-France which estimate the global temperature increase at between 2 and 3.5 °C.
The plan is divided into 80 actions and 230 measures over the period 2011-2015. Its main objectives are to include the question of climate change in public policy and to improve “research and monitoring mechanisms” on the issue.
The plan is guided by five key points:
Plan national d’adaptation au changement climatique, the five keypoints :
- Water: the objective set is to reduce and optimise consumption. Thanks to measures such as rain water recovery assistance or developing the use of waste water for green areas, the government hopes to reduce French consumption by 20% by 2020.
- Health: global warming will provide public health with new challenges with the movement northwards of dangerous mosquitoes and allergenic pollen. So-called “emerging” illnesses, because they have previously been unseen at our latitudes, are likely to appear. A health and climate watch group within the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique (High Commission for Public Health) will be created to monitor these phenomena and advise public authorities.
- Forests: there is a risk that the indigenous species in our forests will not be able to adapt quickly enough to ground drainage and the rise in temperatures. Among other measures, the plan proposes diversifying the species planted from now on and helping farmers with better adjustment in the future.
- Transport infrastructures: heat waves, floods, drought or heavy snow fall have shown that our installations were not designed to withstand the toughest effects of global warming. The measures provide for the adaptation of “transport network construction, operation and maintenance reference bases”, but also the introduction of a procedure to evaluate sensitive zones and infrastructure vulnerability.
- Anticipate the consequences of a rise in sea levels: the plan mainly considers strengthening knowledge of the phenomenon to include it better in development policies. A guide to adapt coastal protection structures to the rise in sea levels is planned for 2014.
Find out more (in French): the Ministry’s site