“We are living beyond our ecological means”

Tribune. Five weeks of debates in the National Assembly and several thousand amendments tabled have only allowed the maintenance of a multitude of exemptions and compensation systems that will allow us to legally continue to destroy our “Earth ecosystem”. The intentions of the citizens’ climate convention to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and stop urban expansion have been largely misused.

We are living beyond our ecological means. To fight against climate change and the erosion of biodiversity, to preserve biomass production potential damaged by climate change, we need more natural, agricultural and forest areas; we don’t have it. In view of the global imbalance, the town planning code should no longer refer to the notion of balance between urbanized areas and other natural, agricultural and forest areas.

The objective of “zero net artificialization” was already open to criticism when France Stratégie [organisme d’évaluation et de prospective rattaché à Matignon] proposed it for 2030, but “the ambitious government” is targeting 2050! In addition, the latter asks lawmakers to give him carte blanche to define and measure artificialization when successive governments have not been able to do so for more than ten years.

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The reduction of the artificialization of soils by the communities will only become an obligation in 2027 within the local urban plans, thus leaving until 2037 for a simple reduction of 50% of the rate of artificialization. In addition, this division by two in ten years of artificialization will remain wishful thinking, for lack of reliable and indisputable instruments and of the State’s powers in matters of urban expansion.


Another discovery, the de-artificialisation or the “de-waterproofing” of soils! Removing the concrete or bitumen would make it possible to compensate for the destruction of “artificial” surfaces. Once the concrete and bitumen have been removed, compacted earth appears; water and air cannot circulate there, the water reserve is weak there, like the carbon stock; these lands will only be able to return to their previous functional level after several decades at best. If the waterproofing is of real interest, it cannot constitute a counterpart to the artificialization. It’s a sham!

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