July 25, 2021

The Senate is ambitious on certain aspects of the “climate” law

The Senate will not escape it either. After the National Assembly in March, the Palais du Luxembourg launches, Monday, June 14, in the examination of the sprawling Climate and Resilience bill. From 69 articles in its initial version, the text resulting from the citizens’ convention for the climate now has 218. And it is not finished. Advertising, thermal renovation, transport, energy… The Senate, dominated by the right, displays a speech ” ambitious ” for these two weeks of debate in hemicycle. Nearly 2,200 amendments were tabled, a rare proportion in the Senate, after an already record number of amendments in committee (1940).

A time perceived as hostile to the process of the citizens’ convention, the senators gradually converted to the debate posed by the convention members. Today, some even go so far as to accuse deputies of a certain “Reluctance” on this last major environmental text of the five-year term. “The text of the National Assembly is not up to the climate emergency”, thus affirms Jean-François Longeot, centrist president of the committee of spatial planning in the Senate and sustainable development.

In committee, the senators made some progress. On the transport side, they approved a reduction in VAT on train tickets from 10% to 5.5%, one of the proposals of the citizens’ convention for the climate, which the government did not want and MPs. They also voted for a zero-rate mobility loan to facilitate the acquisition of a less polluting vehicle for low-income households. “The climate bill is first of all the middle classes and the precarious classes who pay it, so we must be able to move forward together on these subjects”, warns Senator Les Républicains (LR) of Yvelines Marta de Cidrac, co-rapporteur of the text.

“More open debate”

This series of incentive measures is primarily intended to put pressure on the government within the framework of the next budget bill, the mother of battles to materialize many commitments of the “climate” law.

With regard to buildings, they have also strengthened the definition of efficient energy renovations, by excluding housing of energy class C. “Unexpectedly, the Senate has positioned itself more than the National Assembly on the issue of social justice”, notes Céleste Duriez, project manager at the Climate Action Network.

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