This is a “historic” session called “Neo Terra” which takes place this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 in Bordeaux. The regional councilors, the main economic actors and the agents of the Regional Council of New Aquitaine will endorse ecological change objectives for 2030. “We reduce deadlines because we no longer have time, asserts the president Alain Rousset. For 10 years, we have been documenting the effects of global warming on our region. We now know that 2050 is too late, we must act faster“New Aquitaine is the first European region to establish a roadmap with such a short deadline.The approach is more comprehensive than that initiated by the government with the” ecological transition contracts “, the first of which are signed this year. even July 9 after 18 months of experimentation.
Two CNRS researchers will open the session. Since 2014, the climatologist Hervé Le Treut chairs “Acclima-Terra”, a network of 450 scientists that details at the regional scale the effects of rising temperatures. Vincent Bretagnolle pilot “Ecobiose”, on the biodiversity present between Pyrenees and plains of Poitou. The portrait they draw is that of a region of oceanic climate that is “Mediterranean”. Summer is drier and hot, rainfall is abundant but shorter and more violent, and already 1.4 ° C of rising temperatures since the beginning of the industrial era, such are the climatic realities of New Aquitaine.
The effects of climate change are already being felt
Biodiversity is eroding. Budding areas decreased by 23% and between 2006 and 2014, nearly 85,000 hectares were artificialised. Conflicts over the use of water are multiplying especially around the agricultural model. If nothing is done, calculated the Adour-Garonne Water Agency, in 2050, the region will experience an annual deficit of 1.2 billion m3 of water. An impasse for a mainly agricultural region, very touristy and in strong demographic growth. It is therefore necessary to go beyond observations to define actions to correct current trajectories and to prepare for the future impacts of a disturbed climate.
If it is implemented, this roadmap implies a real change of society. The end of pesticides, the generalization of agro-ecology, the stop of the artificialization of the soil by a drastic urban reform passing by the end of the urban sprawl and the rehabilitation of the dense town centers, clean transports for a mobility reducing the use of the private car, which today represents 82% of the displacements of the New Aquitaine, to reach 45% of renewable energy in the electric mix, these are the main objectives that the Regional Council will adopt for the next decade .
Change is more and more felt as necessary
CONSULTATION. “Néo Terra” is the result of a multi-month consultation phase where industry representatives from various professional sectors, elected representatives and associations were invited to give their opinion. Alain Rousset assures him: “Things are ripe, in the phase of consultation, I heard more questions than disputes or skepticism “. Thus, the agricultural world would be ready to change if we help it. Like everywhere else, farmers are on the brink. One-third of farmers in the region earn less than 400 euros a month. The Regional Council therefore commits itself to start the transition with aid for the purchase of new equipment, support for change of practices and water saving, subsidies for tree and hedge planting, creation of local sales. Actions that reduce greenhouse gases in a sector that emits 28% of the 63 million tonnes produced by the activity of this territory. “Cooperatives and technical sectors did not say no “, assures Alain Rousset. This objective is also in full coherence with another regional ambition: to become the first national destination for eco-tourism.
Transport will also have to change considerably. It is therefore not very surprising that Aquitaine has been one of the strongest poles of the challenge of “yellow vests”. 348,000 neo-Aquitaine households are forced to use their car to go to work while they have incomes that make them vulnerable to the slightest rise in oil prices. The region will have to increase its effort on the rail movements for which it is responsible but also increase its efforts on cycling and public transport.
“Neo Terra” does not steal its name. Regional elected officials know that much of their success also depends on the policies decided in Paris and Brussels. “Beyond French and European regulatory and legislative frameworks, what we in our territories can commit ourselves to do is anticipate the difficulties we see “, summarizes Alain Rousset.