It was in 2007, at the initiative of President Nicolas Sarkozy, that the first Grenelle de l’Environnement was held. The objectives of these political meetings were to raise general awareness of the need to launch actions to protect the environment, ecology and biodiversity.

The mechanisms of the Grenelle de l’Environnement

The first Grenelle de l’Environnement was held in 2007 in Paris, followed by Grenelle II and a Grenelle dedicated to the sea. The main objective of these meetings was to establish a policy for the protection of the environment, biodiversity and sustainable development. Several new laws were adopted before being developed at the subsequent international environmental summits. The Grenelle de l’Environnement covers various areas of environmental protection: housing, transport, energy, biodiversity, but also health protection such as the use of pesticides, the development of organic and environmentally friendly agriculture.

The Grenelle de l’Environnement, with various objectives

The meetings of the Grenelle de l’Environnement made it possible to define new standards in terms of housing, particularly the RT 2012 standards for new housing. The government has also introduced incentive schemes to promote energy-efficient housing and building renovation. In terms of transport, the Grenelle de l’Environnement enabled the development of the French rail network, particularly the high-speed trains. We have seen the introduction of the kilometric ecotax for heavy goods vehicles travelling on the French road network. A tax incentive system has also been introduced to encourage French people to buy new vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.

Measurements over time

The Grenelle de l’Environnement should make it possible to gradually reduce greenhouse gases by 2050. The sectors of activity considered to be the main polluters are notably those of transport and construction. They alone represent 40% of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The RT 2012 standards should make it possible to reduce French energy consumption by 50% by 2020. The development of public transport should reduce air pollution and contribute to improving the quality of the air we breathe in cities. The Grenelle de l’Environnement measures aim to promote global sustainable development and the protection of the natural environment.