“The project for new oil wells in Gironde is in total contradiction with the policy declared by the government” | EUROtoday

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Lhe President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, promised throughout his 2022 presidential marketing campaign a five-year time period which “will be ecological or will not”. He additionally promised, in September 2022, that France would be the first nation to eliminate fossils (Emmanuel Macron on the social community). This promise is mirrored within the 2019-2028 multiannual vitality programming (PPE) by the target of “turn your back on fossil fuels”particularly by decreasing the first consumption of fossil fuels by 34% in 2028 in comparison with 2012.

According to this similar PPE, “this reduction in the use of fossil fuels makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to improve air quality, in particular other pollutants emitted during combustion, which is beneficial for the health point of view ».

It is therefore time to match words and actions, and the opportunity is given in Gironde. Indeed, the company Vermilion Energy, based in La Teste-de-Buch (Gironde), near Arcachon, which operates around fifty oil extraction wells under the Aquitaine basin, requested at the end of 2023 an extension of their operating permit in order to be able to carry out up to eight new drillings. The stated objective is to compensate for the loss of yield from existing wells and thus continue to extract as much oil as possible until the end of hydrocarbon extraction in France in 2040, enacted by the Hulot law.

Abnormal situation experienced

Ironically, this project is located in the heart of the La Teste-de-Buch forest, the same one which saw 5,800 hectares go up in smoke during the megafire of summer 2022 favored by climate change. The trauma and impact of this fire on people living or working in the area is still very significant, even more than a year later. Given the extent of the damage, ” the president of the Republic (…) announced a major national project for replanting », thus admitting that the situation experienced was abnormal and that everything must be done to prevent it from happening again.

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The Vermilion Energy project is therefore in total contradiction with the policy publicly stated by the French government.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recalls that projected CO emissions2 from existing fossil fuel infrastructure would already exceed the remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C (high confidence). This same report explains that to limit warming to 1.5°C, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 43% between 2019 and 2030. By 2050, the reduction must be 84%. However, around 75% of current CO emissions2 linked to humans come from fossil combustion.

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