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‘Face the reality’: France ‘must prepare’ for +4C global warming

It comes after Ecological Transition Minister Christophe Béchu urged France ‘to come out of denial’ over climate change

The council’s most recent conclusions show a temperature rise far above the aims of the Paris Agreement Pic: VladisChern / Shutterstock

France must prepare for the ‘reality’ of a +4C increase in global warming, the national council for the ecological transition has warned.

Le Conseil national de la transition écologique (CNTE) is a group of representatives of local authorities, NGOs, unions, employers, and MPs. It published its latest conclusions on Thursday, May 4.

Ronan Dantec, the vice president of a specialist CNTE commission, told journalists: “We believe unanimously that we will retain, on our journey to prepare for climate change, the general hypothesis of global warming of 3C by the end of the century, hitting 1.5C in 2030, and 2C in 2050.”

However, he added: "We are on a trajectory towards 3C at the global level, and therefore for metropolitan France this means 4C. This shows that French society has reached a consensus on the need to face the reality of climate change in a clear-sighted manner.”

This warming is more marked in metropolitan France compared to the global situation, the group said, and in France’s overseas territories. 

Read more: How will weather be in my French town in 2050? New tool helps find out 

Read more: How climate change will affect major cities in France by 2050  

‘Come out of denial’

The conclusions correspond to a warning issued by France’s Ecological Transition Minister Christophe Béchu, who said in recent months that France must “come out of denial” and prepare for a possible warming of 4C, compared to the pre-industrial era.

On April 4, he said: “This doesn’t mean we’re giving up on our climate ambitions. We must act as if everything depends on it, but we must [also] adapt by realising that we can’t control everything.”

Mr Béchu also said that he would release a national plan for the management of heatwaves, by the end of May. This will include around a dozen measures on situations such as working outdoors, or recommendations for how to manage school exams during intense heat.

Far from Paris Agreement targets

Current policies are working on the principle of a 2.8C increase in world temperatures by the end of the century, the UN said last October. This means that the world is far from the targets of the Paris Agreement, which had aimed to limit global warming to below 2C maximum, and preferably below 1.5C.

It comes as France prepares its third national climate change adaptation plan, le Plan national d'adaptation au changement climatique (PNACC). The previous plan (for the years 2018-2022) worked on the basis of a 2C rise. 

The plan focuses on outcomes and policies for healthcare, the economy, agriculture, infrastructure, and the protection of natural spaces. 

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