Overshadowed by international news about the war in Ukraine and its economic consequences, the great issue of our time seems to have been brushed aside. The Shift Project offers 4 questions to ask candidates in the run-up to the second round.
As the debate between the rounds on Wednesday 20 April and the second round of the presidential election on Sunday 24 March approaches, the Shift project focuses on the four key energy and climate issues. This think tank has secured a prominent place for itself in the public debate. We owe him for imposing the idea of ecological planning, a central idea on the left in the program of the Insoumis and the Greens, which we also find in the mouth of the presidential candidate Macron. Since this weekend he has been working on repainting a program where the ecological issue was only touched green. Ecology is just a dotted line in Marine Le Pen’s program. The candidate even rejects the idea of energy sobriety and decarbonising the economy. And yet the next president will have much to do to put France on the path of the Paris Agreements. For now, neither is up to the challenge.
Axis 1: Social Justice
The question : How will you reconcile measures to limit fuel cost increases with your fossil fuel phasing out goals?
why it matters : Rising prices at the pump are not a passing phenomenon. In the coming months and years, it will become more expensive to travel by gas-powered vehicles. A phenomenon related to the scarcity of oil resources. This supply shock will be harder to absorb for the most modest households and car owners. The movement of the yellow vests has shown this. Therefore, the issue of an exit from fossil fuels is crucial. This outing must be planned. Right now we are moving full throttle towards the iceberg that could sink our economies, which are heavily dependent on oil.
Axis 2: Employment
The question : What do you foresee for the sectors likely to be negatively impacted by the fossil fuel exit (aviation, agri-food, car manufacturing, road transport, etc.)?
why it matters : Development of new skills, retraining, job transfers… A major ecological policy will have to take into account the central demand of employment. The topic is sensitive, as this topic is mobilized as a shield argument to justify immobility in terms of ecological transformation. And yet ecology is recruiting. Economist Gaël Giraud estimates that thermal renovation of buildings in France could create an average of 15 jobs per million euros. That is 500,000 jobs in 3 years.
Axis 3: Sobriety
The question: What concrete austerity measures do you plan to implement?
Why it matters: Energy efficiency belongs to the 2000s. Twenty years on, we must strive for sobriety, that is, the collectively organized limitation of our energy consumption. Only, our ultra-connected world is more energy-intensive every day. An increase in use that is not sufficient to offset non-carbon energy sources such as nuclear and renewables. Energy efficiency is therefore the only way to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. For France, this represents a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Axis 4: Steering
The question: What political instruments do you intend to mobilize to guide, monitor and support the actors in the implementation of the transition, at every level of society?
why it matters “Energy is the blood of society. Phasing out fossil fuels is a successful candid operation’, says the think tank. Such an operation requires precision tools: numbers, tools of governance and management of the long-term transformation. But you also need a plan. A detailed vision in the transformation plan of the French economy implemented by the Shift Project.