Futuribles Journal n° 403

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

A Vision of French Consumption in 2030: Towards a Softening of Environmental Impacts

Like most industrialized countries today, France has become aware of the need to undertake an ecological transition, in order to shift its modes of production and consumption towards reduced use of raw materials and less pollution. However, bringing down household consumption is no easy task, even if, as we have seen throughout this special issue, there are incentives that can be deployed. As a helpful complement to the various analyses that have come out of the study “Producing and Consuming in the Era of Ecological Transition”, this article by Éric Vidalenc, Laurent Meunier and Claire Pinet presents the results of a very recent foresight study carried out by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, on consumption in France to 2030, with a view to reducing its environmental impact.

The authors remind us of the continuous progression of consumption in France since 1960 and the serious impact this has had on the environment. They go on to describe in detail the scenario that ADEME’s researchers arrived at with an eye to reducing the environmental footprint of French consumption by 2030. They stress, for example, the levers that could be used to this end (reducing food waste, increasing the lifespan of capital goods, new mobility services etc.), alongside the quantitative outcomes such a proactive scenario could produce. As we can see, there is scope to change existing patterns of consumption, but there is much still to do to activate the key levers and make really systemic changes over the next 15 years.

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