The elephant in the room

The expression was released several times in the corridors of the COP26, in Glasgow (Scotland), at the beginning of November 2021. In particular by the paleoclimatologist Valérie Masson-Delmotte, met at the science pavilion of the climate conference. “Everyone is talking about carbon neutrality in 2050; but without really admitting that, without extremely proactive action by 2030, the effort that will have to be made next will be colossal … Everyone knows it, nobody talks about it. It’s the elephant in the room ”, then confided the scientist.

The climate, 16 minutes out of 9 hours of LR debate…

The expression also suits the start of the presidential campaign in France. The climatic and environmental risk is major, the next five-year term will be decisive to face these changes and yet… The candidates are silent, or almost, on the subject. Apart from the energy mix and hunting, which are far from embracing the systemic issues at work, ecology is absent, considered a secondary issue. Concerning the first three debates of LR, the Pact for the power of living had made the calculation: on 9 hours of exchanges, 16 minutes on the climate and 10 seconds on biodiversity …

→ ANALYSIS. Climate: Ademe publishes four scenarios for carbon neutrality in 2050

On November 30, by publishing four scenarios for a carbon neutral France in 2050, the president of Ademe set foot in the dish in The cross : “The politicians will not be able to pass on the hot potato ad vitam aeternam, launched Arnaud Leroy, all the more legitimately since this two-year work, which mobilized around a hundred researchers, is a very valuable tool for future leaders. If they wanted to take it …

26 challenges

On the same day, the ecological factory, a benchmark ideas laboratory, also launched a strong appeal. “On the eve of decisive electoral deadlines, the electoral debates hardly cover these subjects”, deplored its members, who organized a workshop on December 9 open to all (1), in order to“Improve the taking into account” of these issues. It is backed by an in-depth dossier, which addresses 26 major challenges to be met (consumption, employment in the ecological transition, the energy mix, climate-related migration, mobility, etc.). For each challenge, its thematic sheet in three points: 1. the current situation; 2. the measures taken during the last five-year term; 3. the state of political and media debate.

“We are not making any proposals, because we are vaccinated with these ‘yes’ candidates who are never followed up. We ask questions, so that they interfere in the public debate ”, declares Géraud Guibert, president of the Ecological Factory, whose bet is that citizens will be able to grasp it all the better when they have content at hand and reflections. “Things are emerging in the presidential campaigns”, which are not decided in advance, adds the vice-president, Lucile Schmid. “Ecological news could well catch up with the candidates” who, then, will no longer be able to ignore the elephant in the room.


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