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Pierre Chabret

Pierre
Chabret

Engineer at the Regional Activity Service

 

Sustainable cities expert
Pierre Chabret

Environmental and Energy Transition, a Major Issue at the Regional Level

Reducing energy consumption, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, conserving resources, cutting waste, promoting a circular economy, creating jobs… The issues related to the environmental and energy transition are numerous, urgent, and closely connected.

Today’s environmental and energy policies require a new approach, in which decentralization goes hand in hand with globalization and regional integration. Regions play a central role in this. In France, after decades of centralizing public policies, a shift toward local action began ten years ago with the voluntary implementation of environmental and energy programs driven by local communities. The energy transition law favoring green growth sped up the involvement of local governments in requiring

public inter-municipal cooperation institutions representing more than 20 000 inhabitants to put in place a local “climate-air-energy” plan. Over the past two years, the decentralization movement has intensified.

Could regulation alone allow for the change required to tackle current issues? The answer is no.

In the future, the emergence of voluntary local approaches that incorporate the whole range of issues and players involved in the energy and environmental transition will be essential. ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, supports these regional players in assisting innovators, solidifying local action, and developing new initiatives, and often provides financial support. Our resource center for regional climate action gathers many examples of energy transition initiatives launched by local governments, such as a community wind farm in the Northeast of France.

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