Opinion piece «Resisting urban sprawl is a priority of environmental politics »

Opinion piece «Resisting urban sprawl is a priority of environmental politics »

Biotope works every day in the field to limit damage to our environment, but it is also a fight that can be won on the ideological front. Follow the latest opinion piece in Le Monde by Frédéric Melki, director general at Biotope.

 “Resisting urban sprawl is a priority of environmental politics”

LE MONDE ECONOMIE | 10.12.2012 at 10.21 • Mis à jour le 10.12.2012 à 17h02

By Frédéric Melki, Biotope

The debate on the transition to renewable energy and its impact on environmental policy have the positive effect of putting the environment back into the public arena, but risks hardening an already fragile opinion due to current economic uncertainties.

In fact, the increasingly prevalent conviction is that “the environment is expensive”, that it penalizes the economy and that during a crisis, and priorities should be elsewhere. This has sadly been characterized by the now infamous "l'écologie ça suffit!" (enough about the environment!) from Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010.

This approach has undoubtedly galvanized action and produced tangible results that would be dishonest to deny. Nevertheless, in world deep in crisis, and in an effort to provide a boost that transcends political affiliation, it would be reasonable for the discourse underway to emphasize those measures offering the triple advantage of not increasing the tax burden, reducing public expenditures, and increasing people’s purchasing power.

It is true that many supporters of environmentalism, whether political parties or non-governmental organizations, have leaned heavily in favour of greater regulatory controls and heavier taxes as the main levers for action.

The primary objective of all responsible political environmentalism ought to be focused on limiting the loss of natural areas or agricultural land and fighting urban sprawl.

Read the article by Frédéric Melki "Resisting urban sprawl is a priority of environmental politics" on the site of Monde.fr