France Green Plan
France's "le Grenelle Environment" (Plan) is a five-year plan for nationwide sustainability with targets set between 2008 and 2050. Created in 2007 through the new Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Planning, Le Grenelle's ultimate goals include an Environmental Guidelines Act with associated monitoring, actions, and Ministry reorganization. As a means of establishing a “new ecological governance,” Le Grenelle will:
Fight climate change and control energy demand
Preserve biodiversity and natural resources
Create an environment conductive to health
Adopt sustainable modes of production and consumption
Construct a green democracy
Promote green development favoring employment and competitiveness
The Plan calls for two additional "intergroups" on Waste and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Stakeholders include the State, employers, unions, local authorities, and non-government organizations (NGOs). Le Grenelle's diverse cross-section of 330 participants faces complex legal, social, budgetary, and technical obstacles, but has the benefit of national research bodies, public support and participation, and a charismatic public face in France's Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Planning, Jean-Louis Borloo. With parliament approval of Grenelle I in February 2009, Grenelle II, a new package of legislative measures, was presented to the French government in April 2010.
Read more about the plan on its English website: [http://www.legrenelle-environnement.fr/?rubrique33]
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Like the Green Plans of the EU, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Mexico City, le Grenelle is founded on the ten principles of Green Planning. It is long-term, comprehensive, dynamic, cooperative, integrated, informed, flexible, strategic, purposeful, and investment-intensive.
Le Grenelle is long term, presenting an agenda that contains central issues for sustainable development with targets extending out to 2050. It is comprehensive, with four focus issues spanning climate change, biodiversity, health and the environment, and ecologically responsible democracy. With themes crossing social, economic, technological, ecological, and political boundaries, le Grenelle covers both immediate and longer-term initiatives. The plan also recognizes the need to continually refine actions and monitor policy implementation and outcomes. Its recommendations include institutional structures to direct this dynamic process.
The Round Table Approach to Integrated Environmental Management
The Round Table approach adopted by le Grenelle enables participation across public and private sectors, as well as civil society, through phase 1 workshops. Cooperation continues to inspire the Plan's following phases including phase 2, public debate; phase 3, round table discussions; and phase 4, new law and the establishment of implementation bodies. While the focus issues are limited, they are used as a framework to enable consideration of crosscutting implications for economic, environmental, and social needs. The resulting set of conclusions are fully integrated.
The Round Table approach is informed at every level by its structure of six working groups covering energy management and climate change, biodiversity and natural resources, healthy environment, sustainable production and consumption behavior, ecological-responsible democracy (institutions and governance), as well as two intergroups on waste management and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Further, the Plan's broad scientific base includes 330 participants covering the state, local government, NGOs, employers and employees, and support from applicable national research bodies. A report of final recommendations based on these extensive focus groups and cooperative work will go to the French President for decisions and action.
The Round Table recommendations address the four focus issues through combined program proposals with associated targets for specified years (e.g. 2020). Programs or action plans include specified outcomes (e.g. a transition to high-level energy-efficiency regulations and 33% new construction of low-consumption or passive/positive-energy buildings must occur by 2010). The Plan identifies "associated measures" like the development of economic incentives as well as new implementation bodies emerging in parallel with further research. By committing to targeted environmental goals while simultaneously providing freedom for participants to develop diverse ways to reach the goals, le Grenelle displays the flexible structure typical of successful Green Plans.
The Plan's emphasis on the role of the French President in catalyzing new law underscores le Grenelle's strategic management approach. Phase 4 follows presidential approval of roundtable discussions and emphasizes the creation of new law (e.g. Environmental Guidelines Act); a national monitoring committee; continuation of thematic workgroups on urban planning, housing, transport, waste management etc.; reorganization of the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning; Action Programs; and annual meetings - all of which indicate a continuous process of setting goals, developing timelines, and monitoring and reporting on results. Further, the proposals make specific references to the involvement of the French Parliament, and the need for EU and international collaboration.
Political Leadership and Funding Requirements
With 2010’s Grenelle II, the purposeful, results-oriented initiative has the support of France's Ministers and President required to make France's environmental policy future sustainable.
Le Grenelle's greatest challenge will be financial. The Plan refers, in some places, to Euros required, which shows that its authors recognize that achieving Le Grenelle is investment-intensive. However, the Plan will need to include more funding requirements and commitments through its ensuing phases for effective implementation.
Parallel Developments: le Grenelle for the Oceans (Le Grenelle de la Mer)
Announced in February 2009, le Grenelle Oceans will bring together experts, stakeholders, industry, government, and NGOs to form four working groups. Themes to be addressed include sustainable fisheries, biodiversity, transportation, energy, climate change, marine sector jobs, coastal development, and governance at local and global levels. While le Grenelle Environment does address marine issues, Le Grenelle Oceans aims to bring deeper, single-issue analysis to inter-governmental panels by summer 2009.
Additional Sustainability Indicators Released 2010
Through debate at a 2010 national conference, France has developed a series of four broad economic and social indicators that it hopes will spur sustainable behavior. Since Gross Domestic Product does not include natural or social wealth, Grenelle II aims to better integrate social and economic goals with the first Grenelle’s focus on natural resource management. Throughout the period 2010 to 2013, 45 additional indicators cover the following areas: climate change and clean energy, sustainable mobility, sustainable consumption and production, biodiversity, public health, social integration and ‘knowledge society’ and governance. Read a Euractiv.com summary here [http://www.euractiv.com/en/sustainability/france-devises-sustainable-development-barometer/article-189134] and the original plan here (FR) [http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/SNDD_Sans_index_28-07-2010_Web_sticker_rose.pdf]
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European Union Green Plan
Netherlands Green Plan
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Singapore Green Plan
France Green Plan
Mexico City Green Plan
Sweden Green Plan