In the coming decades France, like most of the rich countries or those now industrializing, must face the risk of the exhaustion of the sources of fossil fuels (oil, in particular), with one of its first effects probably being a large rise in the price of energy. While it is true that France relies heavily on nuclear power generation, which for the moment reduces its dependency on carbon-based fuels, most of the nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their lives and new ones have not been developed to replace them. As a consequence, there may be some unpleasant surprises for the French with regard to energy in the next decades.
In an attempt to forestall these problems, the French government organized a long national debate about energy matters in 2003, which resulted in the publication, among other documents, of a "white paper" setting out the main policy trends envisaged in this area. Pierre Bonnaure has taken a close look at this document and states here why he finds it disappointing, to say the least, and indeed quite inadequate, given the gravity of the situation. He argues that there is a real lack of foresight which could have serious consequences for future generations.