Senator from Doubs Jean-François Longeot, chairman of the Territorial Planning and Sustainable Development committee, will notably defend measures against digital pollution.
On the strength of a bill on the “digital environmental footprint” adopted by the Senate on January 12, Senator Jean-François Longeot intends to influence the “climate and resilience” bill, presented two years ago. weeks in the Council of Ministers. Chairman of the Commission for Regional Planning and Sustainable Development of the upper assembly, he readily admits that he is a recent convert to ecology and not a “fanatic”. He even confides, at the turn of a question, that he “discovered” late in the day the notion of “planned obsolescence“, Considered by some environmentalists as the perverse consequence of hyper-consumerism. This Chiraquien, elected from Doubs and member of the centrist Union group, however intends to fill the “holes in the rack” of the text of the government.
Supposed to transcribe into law the work of the Citizen’s Climate Convention installed by President Emmanuel Macron, this bill is criticized from all sides. The latest arrow left this Tuesday from the High Council for the Climate (HCC), a body created by the Head of State, which multiplies critical reports on the government’s environmental commitments. The bill is not up to the task, writes the HCC: “Many measures relate to restricted areas of application covering an insufficient part of the activities emitting greenhouse gases in France.” The High Council is counting on parliamentarians to rectify the government’s lack of ambition, indicating that “the examination of the text by Parliament should make it possible to complete and improve the scope of the measures proposed, including on the management and conduct of the transition, so that the announced objectives are achieved ”. A role in which the Senate will play its full part, assures Jean-François Longeot.
Paris Match. The climate bill has been vigorously denounced by dozens and dozens of NGOs and several evaluations consider it insufficient to achieve France’s objectives. What is your position?
Jean-François Longeot. We are going to invest a lot in the climate bill. If there are blind spots, we will try to deal with them. We will listen with great attention to those who find that things are missing in this bill. We have already done a number of hearings. For example, we heard from an industrialist who was part of the Citizens’ Convention and who gave us interesting things. He started by saying that after being drawn, he wondered what he was doing there… Then he said to us: “I have evolved.” I think we need to change the text. We are going to demonstrate the legitimacy of Parliament and in particular of the Senate.
You mention “blind spots” in the text. What do you think?
Today, digital technology is responsible for 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions in France. By 2040, it will be 7%. We really have to take it into account. The climate bill as it came out of the Council of Ministers, however, does not contain digital-related provisions. We have just adopted, almost unanimously by the 348 senators, a bill on this subject resulting from cross-partisan work. If it is not taken up by a group in the National Assembly or by the government, it can serve as a basis for amendments to the bill. I do not despair: the Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, is, I believe, very aware of these questions.
For the senator, we have to wonder about the environmental cost of digital technology
The 150 participants of the Citizen’s Climate Convention wanted a moratorium on 5G, not only for possible health issues but also to study its climate impact. Defenders of 5G point out that this technology is more sober for the equivalent volume of data than 4G, while its detractors note that it will allow much more data to be sent for uses not necessarily essential, for example playing videos. high definition on his smartphone. Is this an axis of reflection?
I went to Taiwan two years ago and there was already talk about 5G, but especially for the development of autonomous vehicles, which may be useful. I’m not sure 5G makes sense to have an app or video game that runs faster on your smartphone …
You seem to agree with the idea that the sobriety of uses is a central issue.
It’s obvious. We will be on this planet more and more. Either we produce more to meet everyone’s expectations, but with what environmental impact? Either we say to ourselves that we must reduce a certain number of things. It also requires great pedagogy and real awareness. We provide information on food consumption products, why not do it digitally? You have to tell consumers: if you use that, that’s what it generates. [C’est par exemple ce que propose le texte adopté par le Sénat, en imposant un affichage durant la lecture de vidéos ou de sons sur des services de streaming, qui préciserait «selon le type de connexion utilisé et selon le niveau d’affichage et de résolution proposé, la quantité de données correspondant à l’utilisation de leurs services et l’équivalent des émissions de gaz à effet de serre correspondant», ndlr] I believe the time has come: many of our fellow citizens are really aware.