The French city of Dunkirk recently made a major decision to make all their public transit free to anyone. It’s worked really well and now people are hoping the idea spreads to other places in France. It’s noteworthy that the climate crisis wasn’t the driving factor behind the plan it was to improve the life of the citizens of Dunkirk. The residents are happier with less pollution and reliable transit while it has also improved commute times for workers.
More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.
For Damien Carême, the mayor of Grande-Synthe (which neighbors Dunkirk), improving the lives of working-class residents, revitalising small cities and fighting climate change go hand in hand. Speaking in 2016, Carême (of the Green party, Europe Ecologie les Verts), said he hoped Dunkirk’s fare-free model could “make the urban area a figurehead for industrial territories undergoing environmental transition.”
Not to be outdone by other nations, France has announced that the country will eliminate use of coal for electricity by 2023. Yesterday we looked at Canada’s plan to phase out coal plants by 2030, which in Canada caused concern. In France, there’s little debate that we need to stop using coal in our power plants.
It’s fantastic to see so many nations stopping their reliance on coal and switching to renewable energy sources!
“We need carbon neutrality by 2050,” the French President continued, promising that coal will no longer form part of France’s energy mix in six to seven years’ time.
France is already a world leader in low-carbon energy. The country has invested heavily in nuclear power over the past few decades and now derives more than 75 per cent of its electricity from nuclear fission. It produces so much nuclear energy, in fact, that it exports much of it to nearby nations, making around £2.5 billion each year.
France has announced that they are going to try a mass installation of solar-panelled roads to provide electricity. It’s an attempt to see if they technology can be scalable and durable enough to survive under so much wear and tear. These solar roads aren’t made by the company that turned to crowdfunding a few years ago. Hopefully this test run of solar roadways will prove that it’s feasible.
The French government has just announced that it will pave 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of road with durable, photovoltaic panels, which will provide solar energy to 5 million people across the republic, according to Global Construction Review.
This will be the very first time solar panels will be installed on public roads to this extent, and it will aim to supply renewable energy to eight percent of France’s total population.
Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.
Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.
Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer
Just because it’s not good looking doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Growers take their odd-looking fruit and usually sell it to juice, soup, or canneries instead of grocery store. One grocery store chain in France decided to take the produce usually rejected by consumers and make something fun out of it. This marketing synopsis covers what they did:
Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign, celebrating the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine.
Now you can eat five a day inglorious fruits and vegetables.
As good, but 30% cheaper. The inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a glorious fight against food waste.