Elysee / Image: Manhhai – Flickr CC, Illustration: RE.
Is inviting citizens to a certain energy sobriety compatible with the choice to leave their car engines running so that ministers can use the air conditioning as soon as they leave the meeting at the Elysee Palace? Government spokesman Olivier Véran was quick to comment on the matter after broadcasting a video showing this waste of fuel. Ticket.
Winter that promises to be difficult
In recent years, the media has become accustomed to warning about possible, if not likely, power supply problems with the onset of winter. And finally it passes.
This is a bit of the same refrain for the 2022-2023 season. But this time the risks are much higher and much more is palpable. For example, those companies that for the first time in 2022 are concerned about the operation of their installations with a voltage lower than normally guaranteed.
Were it not for this deterioration in the energy market caused by Russia’s constant encroachment into Ukraine, the national grid would no doubt have taken the closure of the Fessenheim nuclear site, oil and coal-fired power plants relatively well. , and a delay in the development of renewable energy sources.
Reducing CO2 emissions is good. Energy sobriety, better?
In recent weeks, calls for energy sobriety have become more frequent, mostly concerning electricity, fuel and gas. It all started in April with a load reduction decree targeted at large consumers. At the end of June, the heads of EDF, Engie and TotalEnergies signed a column with an alarming tone. A few days later, the message was reinforced by 84 business leaders.
On July 14, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, announced the launch of a major two-year plan that will require efforts to reduce energy consumption. The next day, Agnès Pannier-Runashe wanted to convince by presenting a short roadmap with a first step of -10% immediately and -40% for 2050: “ 40% is a giant number and you need to start right away. “.
The details of the program had to be consistent, first attacking the state, administrations and ministries. ” We must be exemplary “, – stressed the Minister of Energy Transition. And give a few specific examples, including this one: Gaspi hunting starts right from the air conditioner “. The message, transmitted on July 20 by government spokesman Olivier Veran, is intended in particular for citizens.
To spend the winter, Emmanuel Macron calls for energy sobriety
it’s everyone’s business
Referring also to the mobilization of professionals, Agnès Pannier-Runashe did not fail to point out: “ It will be everyone’s business “. I don’t know what it is for you, but at home these calls did not remain a dead letter. They were even overtaken. For example, my gas boiler has not been working for almost 2 months. Therefore, showers, dishes and cleaning are done with cold water.
There is no air conditioning, but the shutters and windows are closed when the sun hits them or when the temperature outside is higher than in the house. Have a wet towel to cool off. The lighting is little used, provided with LED bulbs, and the oven is on vacation. These gestures are not new in my household, since they began in 2007 with the arrival of the first electric car.
At that time, we set ourselves the task, which we accomplished very quickly: to reduce the energy consumption of the house to the level necessary to recharge the batteries. For a little over a month, the monthly mileage of a new fashionable model has even halved. air conditioner never turns on in the cabin.
The French are urged to save electricity to avoid gas cuts next winter
A pass issued to ministers?
When one has already embarked on such a process of sobriety, it is absolutely unbearable to see repeated losses here and there. As I walk in front of a car with the engine running, waiting for someone who frequently uses the air conditioner, I say to myself, ” Diesel is really not expensive enough yet. ! Not expensive enough for the driver to be a climate change agent! Not expensive enough for him to understand the importance of energy sobriety. “.
What then to think when about fifteen, and perhaps more, cars with working heat engines are waiting for ministers conferring in the Elysee Palace? The Globe posted the video on their Twitter account. about ten seconds on this subject, indicates that the outside temperature was only 28°C. Where is the consistency, where is the government’s commitment to energy sobriety?
In February, the French presidency of the European Union was also shackled by the use of diesel-powered generators to recharge the electric vehicles of the ministers for foreign affairs and health of the member countries who gathered at the convention center in Lyon. Fortunately, the situation was rectified the following month with the use of the Drop’n Plug mobile station in Versailles.
How to survive in the event of a power outage?
Commitment or pirouette?
Faced with controversy, Olivier Veran immediately admitted the inconsistency. Thanking the journalists who condemned the situation, he stressed that this is due to such episodes.” that we are moving forward “. With confidence relying on the vigilance of extraneous witnesses: “To every time we don’t [NDLR : Changer de comportement]you won’t miss us [NDLR : Les journalistes] “.
So: a real commitment or a pirouette? Several media outlets are looking at a similar scene noted in 2019 by journalist and MP François Ruffin. He then received a less convincing response from Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquet. Be that as it may, the new charlatan testifies thatin terms of energy transition and sobriety, the road seems long when an emergency is on the doorstep.
If not to hope, then surely a power outage would make the situation more concrete for those who are trying to act. It would be very unfortunate and disastrous to come to this. So, gentlemen ministers and representatives of the authorities, lead by example, long before the call of citizens to sacrifice! It really is.