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‘Energy sobriety’: A disruptive notion catching on in France

(EurActiv, 24 Jan 2019) The idea of reducing – or altogether avoiding – energy consumption is starting to catch on among French local authorities. But the concept struggles at European level because it directly challenges our economic growth model. EURACTIV France reports.

While there are an increasing number of technological solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the idea of avoiding energy consumption is starting to make headway, both in public policy and choices made by citizens.

“In order to keep global warming under 1.5°C, there not only needs to be technological changes but also changes in behaviour at the levels of individuals and society,” Édouard Toulouse from the négaWatt association told a debate held at the European energy transition conferences in Dunkirk.

French people are starting to become aware of this need to avoid energy consumption. In a survey undertaken by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the majority of French people said that they were aware that the energy transition had to involve a change in their consumption habits.

Only 9% thought that the changes could come from technology alone. And 95% of French people said that they had taken at least one action to reduce their energy consumption in 2017, according to an investigation conducted by the ADEME.

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EurActiv, 24 Jan 2019: ‘Energy sobriety’: A disruptive notion catching on in France